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Sardine Fish Curry | Mathi Fish Curry

Eating this curry with fresh hot boiled rice actually refreshes me! Oh, the joy of having a simple meal consisting of fish curry with rice & vegetable on the side.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Servings: 4
Author: Yashashwini Kotian


  • ½ kg Sardine fish
  • 10 to 12 or as per your spice preference Dry red chilly
  • 2 tsp Coriander seed
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 3 Onion
  • 1 Tomato
  • few Curry leaves
  • 1 cup Fresh shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • small lemon sized Tamarind
  • 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste


  • Clean the fish & keep it aside
  • Dry roast red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, methi seeds & transfer it into a mixer jar.
  • Heat pan, add 2 tsp of oil, add chopped onion( medium-sized) saute till onion become soft, then add freshly shredded coconut fry till it becomes golden brown & aromatic. Transfer this into a mixer jar.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste & turmeric powder, tamarind lemon sized & add little water to the mixer jar, grind into fine masala paste.
  • Heat kadai, add 3 tsp oil,add mustard seeds,then add onion(medium sized) & few curry leaves. Saute till golden brown.
  • Add ground masala paste & add masala water & bring the gravy to the required consistency, add onion(small-sized), chopped tomato, salt. (A typical Udupi- Mangalorean fish curry will have thin gravy, but you can adjust it according to your preference.)
  • Boil the gravy to about 6-7 minutes.
  • Add fish into the boiling gravy. Stir gently without breaking the fish slices. Boil the gravy again until fish get cooked well. This should take not more than 10 minutes on medium flame.
  • Serve this fish curry with boiled rice or white rice.



  • Sardine fish has a very strong smell. Use salt to wash/clean the fish.
  • Add spices according to your taste.
  • Use your judgement while simmering the curry once the fish has been added. Do not overcook fish as the flesh of fish is very delicate.