Varutharacha saala meen (mathi meen) kuzhambu – Sardine fish in roasted spices curry

Hi all. Belated Eid wishes to all. As I was busy with the eid preparations and the holiday trips. I couldn’t make any post on the blog. There were guests to our home on eid. We invited them for lunch. I prepared Mutton biryani, Mutton dalcha, Chicken fry, Onion raita and pineapple jam. Soon I will post the recipe of dalcha and pineapple jam. We made a road trip to Wadi Al Dayqahdam and we all enjoyed playing in the stream of water flowing through the canal. After Ramadan fasting my regular routine was changed. Now I am getting myself get back to the regular routine.

Today my lunch was White rice, Fish curry, fish fry and small onions. My husband got some Sardine fish yesterday and I planned to make this Curry. I got this recipe from my mom. When I went to my home for our last vacation my mom made this Curry for me. I loved it a lot and asked her for the recipe. Usually, we make this curry in a different way. I have already posted that varuthu aracha mathi fish curry but that Curry uses coconut. This Curry does not require coconut. This Curry is specially done with saala meen/mathi meen or Sardine fish. Definitely try out this recipe and let me know how it turns out for you.

Now Let us see how to make this curry

Preparation Time : 10 mins

Cooking Time : 25 mins

Serves : 2 – 3


Sardine fish

For roasting and grinding

  • Dried Red chilli – 7 (adjust to your spice level)
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Peppercorns – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Coconut oil – 1 tbsp +1 tsp

For curry

  • Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – 2 pinch
  • Small onions/shallots – 10 nos(sliced into halves)
  • Curry leaves – a sprig
  • Green chillies – 3
  • Tomato – 1 (medium sized, chopped)
  • Tamarind – a lemon size


  1. Add 1 tsp of coconut oil to a pot. Roast dried red chilli, Coriander seeds, Cumin seeds, peppercorns for about 3 mins in a low flame until a nice aroma starts coming. Finally add Turmeric powder and switch off the flame. Allow them to cool down. Transfer them to a Grinding jar and grind them finely adding a tablespoon of oil.

2. Clean the fish well and keep them ready. Take tamarind in a bowl to it add 1/2 cup of hot water.Let it soak well in the water for about 10 mins. Then squeeze them well with your hands and extract the juice.

3. To the same pot add 1 tbsp of coconut oil and then add fenugreek seeds. Let them turn golden. Then add sliced shallots,green chillies, Curry leaves. Saute them well in oil. Then add the chopped tomatoes to it. Saute them and cook until the tomatoes get mushy and the oil seperates. Add the ground masala paste to it and mix well.

4.Add required salt to the curry. Add the tamarind juice to it and about 1/2 to 1 cup of water. Bring it boil. When it comes to nice boil. Add the cleaned fish pieces to it.Cover and cook for about 6-7 minutes in low flame. Uncover the lid and Continue to cook if you want the curry thick. Check for salt, sourness and add salt and tamarind juice respectively as required.

Serve with Rice.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Johnson

    How many fish is required to make this fish curry?

    1. Alesha Zain

      Hi,You can add about 10 nos for this quantity

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