|Cleaned Sardines Ready for Cooking|
Indian Sardines contain a good measure of heart-healthy omega-3. But most people skip buying sardines for many obvious reasons. Some find cleaning sardines a messy affair, some find Sardines full of thorns, while few people stay away b'cos of its offensive smell.
Tips to buy Sardines
Avoid buying sardines that looks bruised, with torn belly or having guts falling out. These are tell tale signs of stale fish. If you can make out the shine of extra fresh sardines then it's heaven.
We buy Sardines from 'Sargar fish' stall or from 'NLP fish stall' at Domlur. In Bangalore, the price of Sardine vary from Rs 40/- to Rs 50/-. Reason we buy Indian Oil Sardine is its price ( very affordable), second for its taste.
How to Clean Sardines
Cleaning Sardines requires patience, and time. Most of the fish shops in Bangalore don't clean Sardines. If you request them to clean it , they retort back with a flat 'NO'. Few fish stalls like Frosty's or Sagar Fish stall clean Sardines, but they do a great cleanup. After getting it home, you've to do your cleaning part in your house. Most fish stalls chop the head portion while cleaning, but I prefer having head in its place. Any fish head fans out there?
Here's my cleaning process:
- Put sardines in a vessel along with water
- Water softens the fish scales, making it easy to remove
- Take a sardine and place it on the cutting board
- Use knife to remove the scales on the body
- Remove scales from both sides and top
- Next pull out the gill cover with the hand
- Clean inside out and intestine
- Use cleaning scissors to chop the fins and tail section
- Use running tap water to clean inside
- Next Put rock salt in a pan
- Then put the Sardines and run it around
- This removes the strong fishy smell ( Do the last three steps for cleaning all fishes)
|Cleaning Sardines with Kitchen Scissors|
|After inside out cleaning, use Rock Salt to remove the fish smell|
|Kerala Sardines Curry in Mud Vessel ( Mann Chatti)|
Sardines curry made in traditional clay pot ( mann chatti)
Fish curry taste best when prepared in clay pot. But these days, it's a rarity. While making Kerala Fish curry, you can add drumsticks or tomatoes in sardine fish curry. Tomatoes in fish curry brings in tangy taste to the fish curry making it lip smacking. Often we fight at the dinner table for the tomato in the fish curry. What about you?
Seasonal taste of Sardines
During certain time of the year, Sardines have oil deposit in its body. You can make it out while cleaning the Sardines. When you buy oily Sardines, clean it twice to remove extra oil from its body.
Tip to use man chatti ( Clay pot):
Soak the new clay pot overnight in water. It help to filter away the impurities and takes away the strong smell of mud.