Grandma's fish Curry

This is one of my grandmom's wonderful recipes....
Mathi or Sardines are one of the very popular fishes, especially in Kerala. Its something you can call cheap and best. I for one feel its very under-priced, for the awesome thing that it is. But at the rate prices are shooting up nowadays, i'm quite certain that it wouldn't be long before mathi would be priced like seer fish or prawn, i don't even wanna imagine how much those would cost by then.
This is one of my all time favorite fish curries, it triggers nostalgia in me, coz this is one of the most prominent memories associated with my granmom's house. My Achamma (Dad's mom) is a great cook, and this curry she makes has been the same since I first ate it, 25 years ago, when I was less than a year old, and is still exactly the same. But for me, the actual taste comes only when Naathi-- short for Naarayaniadathi, (my granmom's helping hand from 30 years or more maybe. I remember seeing her ever since i was born. She's a very short lady, not more than 4 feet, who looks the same then and now, except for a little hunch which has come in the last few years) feeds me with her 'vayasaaya kai' (Malayalam for 'old hands') as she puts it.

For the curry, you'll need:
  1. Mathi 1/2 kg Cut & cleaned (Don't cut it into pieces, if u usually do that, keep the fish whole)
  2. Turmeric 1/2 tsp
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Tamarind, a small lime-sized ball (Soak in hot water for about 10 min, and take out the juice)
  5. Green chillies 3 Slit in half
  6. Ginger 1" piece Chopped
  7. Onion 1 small sliced
  8. Coconut 1/4 of a whole coconut, ground to a smooth paste along with a pinch of turmeric
For seasoning:
  1. Coconut oil 2tbsp
  2. Garlic 5-6 cloves Crushed
  3. Curry leaves 2 sprigs

  • Boil all the ingredients together.
  • Let it simmer for about 15-20 mins.
  • When it starts to thicken, and the seasoning ingredients directly to the curry.
  • Serve hot or cold, tastes great anyway.
This dish is best served with rice, especially boiled rice and chapatti.