Monday, December 15, 2008

Kurumulaku ittu Mathi Varuthathu or Sardines Fried with ground pepper

ohile browsing through some of my old pictures on my system, I became all nostalgic about home, Cochin and above all, Kerala!! Suddenly my thoughts ran up to those narrow lanes of Fortkochi, Jew Street and Broadway which was infused with the distinct smell of spices. Cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, mace - you could smell it all there. The Broadway(on the contrary, not at all a broad street) was one of the streets I had to pass by every evening after work to get to the nearest bus stop. The smell of the spices enthused me even at that hour of the day. And ever since I remember the place, it always smelled and looked the same sans a few new shops.

Staying in this city rich for its spice trade, every family who has some land around their houses or in their backyard would make sure that they plant few essential spices. We too have some pepper vines climbing onto couple of adakkamaram(Arecanut trees), a nice and shady nutmeg tree, an all spices tree and a cinnamon tree in and around our house. Thanks to my father who planted all those trees that I could grow up seeing all of those spices. And no matter how far away from home I am, I would definetly carry a nice jar full of home grown black peppercorns for sure.

This fish fry is something which is very special to me because I crafted out of my own imagination using our own peppercorns and my hubby just loves it. We could have it everyday and still want for more. The taste obviuosly comes out of the pepper which is the main ingredient.

  • 5-6 Nos - Sardines
  • Coconut Oil or refined oil, to shallow fry
  • 1 tsp and more - whole balck peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 - Shallots
  • 1 tsp - Ginger Garlic paste
  • 2 sprigs - Curry leaves


  • Clean and cut the fish and score them and keep aside
  • Roughly grind all the ingredients and apply on to the fish. Apply it thoroughly on to the fish and smear the masala on the cuts. Let it remain for minimum half an hour
  • Heat a pan and pour some oil according to your wish. I use coconut oil most often, which increases the flavor. When the oil is hot, place the marinated fish and let it fry for sometime on both the sides over a medium low flame. As the masala paste is coarse there are chances of it getting browned faster and might sometimes burn also. So make sure the masala is just browned and not burnt(like what happened to couple of my fishes). This preparation is at its best when the fish is not too crisp.
  • Serve hot and sizzling with rice.

Note: If you can manage to get fresh green peppercorns, you can replace the black ones with them, which would taste even better.


Tina said...

Ente divyase kothiyavunnallooooo.....ithepozha blog set up complete change its very attractive...

Kitchen Flavours said...

New blog look wow looks gr8. Nice to see you after so many days. Recipe sounds spicy and yummy.

Divz said...

Tina - porunno ente veetilleku??
iam so happy that you liked the new look of my blog. That was a whole days work!!

KF - Thanks a lot for ur appreciation. Ya I was away for some time but wud be a regular now.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe. Today we prepared it for our guest. We got a good response from the.

Houseboat in kerala said...

Thanks for the recipe. We prepared it for our guest. Nice