Friday, October 21, 2011

Mathi Puli (Sardines in a sour and spicy thin gravy)

I am not going to begin this post with an apology though I really owe one…I have too many excuses to offer and sure if I start with the list, you may just want to switch off and refuse to read this post…just one piece of truth - responsibilities at work and home has ruined my daily schedule… worse, my blog has taken a back seat…"ab kaa karein… duty pe jaana hai"[borrowed from an old car commercial…but holds literally in my case :) ]

Today, I’m posting a recipe that I made quite some time back, in fact a few months back [absolutely!, shamless me:( ] It’s another delicacy from Kerala called “Mathi Puli”. Literally, Mathi is 'Sardines' and Puli is 'Sour'. This one is sour gravy made with sardines and spices and lots of kodam puli (it’s a souring agent used in Kerala’s fish curries and other seafood preparations)

You need: 

1/2 kg fresh sardines
3-4 pieces kodampuli (gambooge)
salt to taste
3 tbsp coconut oil

½ tsp each of mustard and fenugreek seeds
2 tsp dhania powder
2 tbsp red chilli powder

2 sprigs of curry leaves
6 pods of garlic, julienned
1” piece ginger, julienned
7-8 shallots, julienned
2 green chillies, slit lenghtwise

Rinse and soak the kudampuli in half a cup of warm water for 20 minutes 

Clean and cut the sardines into 2 pieces and clean it thoroughly, rub rock salt well to remove the smell (discard the head) 

Heat coconut oil in a kadai, splutter the mustards and brown the fenugreek seeds

Sauté the shallots, garlic and ginger pieces, green chillies and the curry leaves till the onions are light brown and the aroma fills the air. 

Add dhania and chilli powder and stir (do not allow it to burn) 

Add the kodampuli along with the water and let it boil. Add water as required (it’s a thin gravy) 

Transfer contents to a flat manchatti (earthern pot) and add the fish pieces.

 Simmer the gravy for a few minutes till the fish pieces turn soft and the oil separates (Keep a watch as fish cooks in no time!) 

And it's ready  to serve!!

Mathi Puli tastes better if prepared at least 4 hours before serving and the best, the second day.

Enjoy  ‘mathi puli’ with steaming hot rice and fried pappads....

Yours Tastefully!!


  1. Makes me hungry,spicy and delicious mathi puli

  2. fish curry looks great, heard that making in manchatti tastes the best..perfect with hot rice.

  3. mmmm... my favorite dear. Looks very very yummm..

  4. Fish curry looks superb and delicious.


  5. Hi binitha first time here...Mathi puli adipoli ayitundu...Following uuuu..

  6. That dish looks marvelous and wonderfully spicy!



  7. Wow..I know this fish back home..oh how I miss it. I never knew that it could be as great as this one. It is so mouth watering...Please come over and get the award that I passed on to you... Thanks

  8. Hello Binitha. Came by from Marelie's blog, and just wanted to say "hi!" since she recommended your blog. Have a great day. :-)

  9. Wow, yummy. LOved it.
    Do participate in the Desserts with Coconuts event and giveaway on my blog.

  10. Lovely!! Mom loves Fish!

  11. flavourful fish curry one of our favourite
    following you on google friends nice to meet you

  12. wow...perfect and delicious mathi to have it with some hot rice...:)

  13. Yum mathi curry .. suddenly i miss my mum now ... she used to make it for me !!