We’re still enjoying our summer holidays which is great for the soul but not so great for the motivation. Meals are simple and quick affairs, pulled together after a day at the beach or the pool. Baking has taken a back seat, and I’ve only churned out some treats when “forced” to, for MC Senior’s birthday party on the weekend.
I even put off going to the shops for as long as possible, which is how today’s meal came about. While rummaging through the pantry looking for inspiration, I found a can of sardines. Aha! Dinner and Malaysian Monday sorted in one go, my kind of dish. Allow me to introduce the Sardine Curry.
If you're lucky enough to have leftover roti, you can serve that with sardine curry too.
This happens to be one of my dad’s favourite meals, and I think Malaysians will have seen this dish in one form or another. It’s quick, simple and most importantly tasty.
Here’s my version of Sardine Curry:
1 stalk lemongrass (white part only, bashed with the back of a knife so it’s bruised)
Half a large spanish onion (or use a few french eschallots if you prefer) - slice into rings then dice, leave a few rings aside to add texture.
1 sprig fresh curry leaf (strip the little leaves off the stalk)
1 heaped tsp curry powder mixed with a little water to form a thick paste. (Technically, I should have used curry powder meant for fish, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I used all purpose curry powder)
1 can of sardines in tomato sauce (I used a 215g can)
enough coconut milk to taste (optional - I used about 2 tablespoons)
3 dried red chillies - or chilli powder can be used instead
Heat a little oil in a wok or large frying pan, then fry the diced onions until soft and starting to brown slightly. Toss in the lemongrass, curry leaves, dried chillies and the onion rings. Fry until fragrant, keep stirring often. Add the curry powder paste, stir well, then add the sardines in, sauce and all, and the coconut milk if using. Reduce heat and simmer the sardines gently for about 10-15 minutes or so, until it “looks done”. When I say “looks done”, I mean that the sauce has changed colour from reddish to brownish, and thickened a little. Some oil may also rise to the top.
Serve with steamed rice and a side dish or two. Makes enough for 2 adults for one meal (or for 1 adult for two meals).
Another not very pretty dish I'm afraid.
Now I’m off to the beach, see you soon.
Before I forget, I’m hosting Muhibbah Malaysian Monday #7. Please do join in and send your entries to its(dot)sharon(at)gmail(dot)com. Muhibbah Monday is a blog event that I co-host with Suresh from 3 Hungry Tummies, and you can find more info here.