As it is rainy season in Goa, I remembered my mom’s canned sardines recipe called Sardinhas a Portuguesa (Sardinhas em Molho de Tomate) that she would make. Growing up we ate fish that was seasonal as we had no other options. Goan’s did not import foods as they do now a days. Our exposure to other cuisines was very limited. It was only when friends and family visited from outside Goa or India we got a chance to taste other foods.
Usually in July-August sardines were available and at least once’s a year my mom cooked her Sardinhas (Portuguese). She would also make sautéed sardines with tangy and sweet recheado masala, curry and crispy fried sardines coated either with rava(cream of wheat ) or rice flour, salt and turmeric. This recipe is also made in Goa with Fire Roasted Sundried Salted Mackerels (“Karem” in Konkani).
Since I am not that privileged with easy access to fresh sardines in LA, I do use the canned one’s along with canned tuna to make this salad. My kids enjoy it with tortilla chips and I like it as a side with my rice and fish curry or Goan Pulao. As kids we called it “Mama Arroz” as it was cooked by my mom on Sundays which was her day off.
Another recipe of the canned sardines we made was a smooth paste with room temperature butter. We would make sandwiches or spread it on Ritz Crakers as appetizers for birthday parties.
1 large can of sardines in tomato sauce
1 medium onion diced
2 tomatoes diced
1 jalapeno chopped finely (optional)
10 springs of fresh cilantro chopped
3 tbsp of vinegar
Salt to season
Drain the fish out of the sauce. Add all the chopped ingredients along with vinegar and salt in a bowl and mix well.
Finally crumble the fish and add to the mixture. Mix gently as not to break it up too much. Chill in the refrigerator till ready to serve.
Enjoy it as a side along with rice or as a canned fish salsa with tortilla chips which my kids enjoy.
Ps: This recipe is for those days when you plan to chill out at home :-)
Here is the Sardine Butter Paste Recipe made for parties with 1 can of drained out sardines mashed with 3-4 tbsp of room temperature butter and then topped with quickly pickled crispy fresh veggies like beets, bell-peppers and sweet white onions. I have topped it on a Triscuit. We also made sandwiches with the sardine paste.
If you have a sardine recipe please do share in the comment section :-)