Side Dish

Sardine in Pepper and Indian Gooseberry/ Mathi Nellikkaum Kurumulaku ittathu

Slender sardine fishes are quite common around the world, but the type varies in different regions. I tried out couple of them, and for me Sardine which we get in Kerala is the best one. Probably I am used to it. So no more arguments 😉 This small silver colored fish is one of the very good natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. Other than fatty acids sardines are rich in minerals like phosphorus, calcium, potassium and vitamins like D, B2, B12 and Protein.

Got this recipe from my friend’s mom. She is a very good cook and I would say expert in non-vegetarian preparations :-). I tried this out couple of times with some slight variations and this is what I decided to stick with.


  1. Sardine(Big) : 5-6 Nos.
  2. Black Pepper (whole) : 1 teaspoon
  3. Red Chilli Powder : 1 teaspoon
  4. Dried Indian gooseberry : 1 big gooseberry
  5. Tomato : 1 (small)
  6. Onion : 1 (small)
  7. Garlic : 2-3 Nos.
  8. Curry Leaves : 6-7 Nos.
  9. Water : 2 cups
  10. Salt : 1 teaspoon (to taste)
  11. Oil : 3 teaspoons

Step 1:
Grind pepper and dried gooseberry in a mixer grinder and keep it aside.

Step 2:
Slice onion, tomato and garlic and keep aside.

Step 3:
In a chatti (mud vessel which is used for seafood preparation or use normal vessel/kadai) add sardine, mix from step1, salt, chilli powder, curry leaves and mix well. Add sliced vegetables from step2 and water and keep it on a flame/heat.

Step 4:
Stir occasionaly. Once the sardine is properly cooked and water reduces to low level, add oil as it spreads and switch off the flame.

Step 5:
Sardine in Pepper and Indian Gooseberry can be served with rice or dosa.

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I love cooking and trying out various recipes, and also to come up with ways to achieve good results in reasonable time and effort ? All of the recipes I post here were tried out by me at least 2-3 times (if not a few dozen times) before I was happy with a simple method which gives me good results. Hope you enjoy making these dishes. Would be thrilled if you let me know in the comments how your experiment went. If you have recipe requests for any Malabar dishes, please contact me and I’ll make every effort to get the recipe, try it out and post it here.

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