It is lunch time and you are craving for some South Indian. Dosa, Idli, Rawa, Sambhar, Vada are the few delicacies that would arise in your mind when you think of South Indian food. But there is much more than that, not to mention, full of spices, aroma, tanginess and zest. What we don't realise is that the mouthwatering and lips-smacking flavours of Non vegetarian segment of south Indian cuisine still remains in the niche segment of the overall south Indian cookery. Mathi Roast or Sardine roast is one such absolutely full of flavour and savoury dish that would lure your taste bulb till the last bite and even after. This flavour bomb dish is something what your taste buds will need, what your appetite will need and what your mind will need once you try it. This fall in love dish is very easy to cook and very savoury to eat. 

Trivia and History

As it is well known, knowing the dish before cooking it, adds flavour to it. So, let’s know you Sardine Roast to add the flavour of ‘knowledge’ when we cook it. The dish is most popular in Kerala, Goa, and Sri Lanka, where rice and fish are staple foods. Sardines are one of the least expensive and healthiest seafood in India. They are rich in unsaturated fat, Omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals, making them highly healthy when eaten steamed or curried rather than fried — but fried fish is delicious. In Kerala, the Mathi Roast (fish roast prepared from Sardines) (Mathi or Chaala in the native language) is perhaps the most popular lunch dish among non-vegetarians, who account for almost 90% of the population.

The origins of the modern dish can be traced back to Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The dish started as an attempt to extend Indian cuisine to include a wider clientele, notably Chinese customers, who considered curry prepared with fish heads a specialty. Today, most restaurants of Indian, Malay, Chinese, or Peranakan cuisines serve a variation of this dish. But as the saying goes, the original taste comes from tradition and culture. Let's check out how this dish is traditionally prepared.

Ingredients:

Sardine fish -1kg

Onion – 2 nos

Green chilli- 3nos

Curry leaves – 2 sprigs

Tomatoes – 2 nos

Ginger – 1nos

Garlic – 5 or 6 nos

Turmeric powder - 1 tbsp

Red chilli powder – 1 ½ tbsp.

Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

Pepper powder – 1 tbsp

Garam masala- 1 tbsp

Salt – 1 or 2 tsp

Oil – 2 or 3 tbsp

Method

. To begin, mince the ginger and garlic into a fine pulp. 

. Clean the sardine fish, add a little salt, half of the smashed ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, and red chilli powder to a dish, and stir everything together. 

. After that, marinate for 30 minutes under a lid. 

. Fish that has been marinated is added to hot oil in a frying pan, well-fried on both sides, drained, and set aside. 

. Onion, tomatoes, curry leaves, and another half of the crushed ginger-garlic paste are added to a skillet with hot oil and sauteed until tender. 

. After that, stir in the curry powders—turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander, pepper, and garam masala—and simmer for a short while. 

. Add salt and water, stir well, cover, and thoroughly boil them.

. Then, after a few minutes, add the fish that has been cooked. 

. Take out of the fire, then set aside. 

. Serve tapioca alongside the delicious sardine fish roast.

The aroma of Kerala Sardine Roast will call out all your neighbours for a lunch party even without your invitation. So be careful.