Kitchen by TILAH

Masala Sardines (Sardin Masala)

sardines cooked in the spicy masala style

I had a request from a reader to share the recipe for Masala Sardines a few days ago.  I think she must have had a crystal ball as that was what I had planned to cook this week.  So I told her that I will post the recipe this week.

As we all know, apart from being amongst the healthy food category, sardines are one of the most versatile kind of food that comes drowned in tomato sauce in a can but you can cook it in whatever way you want and it will turn out as good as it has always been.  That is also one of the reasons why I always have sardines in my pantry cupboard!  Especially when you want to cook something fishy chop-chop!

Ever since I gave birth to two little boys, I haven't had enough sleep at night.  They terrorize my night most of the time by crying just when I was about to sail off to dream land.  They are very good at that!  I am sure you mothers out there would agree.  They would have fallen asleep ever so soundly but they will know when you are about to smile with your eyes closed.  Then, they will start screaming for attention making you jump on your bed!  Yes, that's right, jump ON the bed!  I tried jumping out of bed, but I couldn't do it because of my super model size.   My bed will crash any time soon.  My husband will have to buy a new bed then.  This is the reason why I am so lack of sleep and as a result I sometimes get very forgetful and I will even forget when to put what during my cooking which you will come to know later in this post but hey, don't forget! Cooking is an art!  You can cook your food anyway you want and call it food just like an artist  who scribbles what ever comes to mind on white canvas and calls it art except of course, we are not called chefs!  But then again, who said that  you need to be a chef to know how to cook?!  My son Sayf, is an artist too!  He scribbles on white paper like nobody's business!

Anyway, due to my disturbed nights, I am not willing to wake up very much earlier just to cook.  I will make every effort to cook the night before so that I could sleep off the whatever minutes I have during the night before it is time to wake up.  Sleeping time is money to me!  It is quite obvious that some of my pictures are taken after I cooked them at night except for those taken during weekends when I cook in the day.  I hope the looks of the food will still tempt you even though the photographs are not tip top! 

So here are the ingredients:

2 cans of sardines (I used New Moon brand)
2 sprigs of curry leaves
1 large onion - finely sliced
3 green chillies - slit in halves and cut into two
1 lemon grass - crushed
3 tomatoes cut into fours
1 spoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon - fish seasoning spice ("rempah tumis ikan" or "halba campur" in Malay)
3 tablespoon fish curry powder
1 bowl of water
1 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste

(*items to be blended)
2 large onions
6 garlics
2 cm ginger


1.  Heat oil in pan and add in lemon grass.  Saute for a minute.

2.  Add in the sliced onions and saute for another minute.

3.  Add in the fish seasoning spice.  This would be a good time to add in the curry leaves which I had forgotten during this step of the cooking process.

4.  Saute for another minute.

5.  Add in the blended ingredients.

6. Saute for another minute.

7.  Add in the fish curry powder.

8.  Saute for another minute.

9.  Add in the tomato puree.

10.  Guess what?  Saute for another minute.

11.  Add in your bowl of water.  Add in your sugar and salt to taste. Stir.

12.  So I decided to add the curry leaves at this stage of the cooking process.  If you are just as forgetful as I do, you can follow this step.  Stir.  If you had put the curry leaves in earlier together with the fish seasoning spice and saute them together, it would make the masala more fragrant.

13. Let simmer and stir every now and then until oil separates.

14.  Once you see oil collecting on the surface of your sauteing mix, oil has separated.

15.  Add in the sardine tomato sauce.  Stir and bring mix to boil.  If your mix looks thick and dry, you can add a little bit of water.

16.  Add in the green chillies.  Stir them in.

17.  Add in the sardines.

18.  Add in the tomatoes.  Fold them into the sauteing mixture and let simmer for another five minutes over high fire. 

19.  Off fire and your masala sardines are ready to be served.

Best eaten with white rice or white bread and ignore the people around you!  Happy Kitchen-ing!!


Tilah Maricar said…
Dear Emilie,

I am so honoured to have received your comment on my blog and am very delighted that you appreciate my recipes. Thank you so much for the invitation and I will add my blog to your site. Thanks once again.

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