Sardine Pulimunchi or Boothai Pulimunchi is a spicy, tangy fish curry from the coastal city of Mangalore . Boothai stands for Sardines in Tulu. (“Tulu” is the local language spoken in Mangalore) Puli is tamarind and munchi means chillies. Mangalore, being a coastal city, fish forms the staple diet of people staying there. Mangalorean cuisine is known for its fish and chicken dishes like Bangude Pulimunchi, Chicken Sukka, Kori Rotti etc.
Sardine Pulimunchi is a hot and sour fish curry made by grinding roasted whole spices alongwith onion, garlic and tamarind. This tastes great with hot steamed rice, preferably brown (boiled) rice alongwith some veggies on the side like cabbage sabzi or bhindi (ladyfinger) sabzi.
I have used a clay pot to make this curry. In Mangalore, making fish curries in clay pot has been the traditional way of cooking fish. Cooking in a claypot makes the curry tastier and imparts an earthy, smoky flavour to the curry.
What is meant by Puli Munchi
Puli means tamarind or sour and Munchi means chilli in Tulu (local language of Mangalore). Pulimunchi refers to the tangy, spicy curry which is a speciality of the Tuluva community of Mangalore.
Sardine Pulimunchi/ Boothai Pulimunchi
Sardine Pulimunchi is sardines cooked in a spicy, tangy gravy, Sardines are known as Boothai in Tulu. This curry is suitable for fishes like mackeral and sardines which have a strong flavour of their own.
List of Ingredients to make Sardine Pulimunchi
Red Byadgi Chillies
Spices: Coriander seeds, Mustard seeds, cumin seeds, carom seeds, whole black pepper, fenugreek seeds, turmeric powder
Seasoning : Oil, curry leaves, salt
Step-wise recipe with pictures
Cut and clean the fishes. Add some salt to the fish while cleaning. Change the water 4 to 5 times while cleaning the fishes. Keep the cleaned fishes aside. Soak tamarind in some water and keep aside for 20 minutes.
Heat few drops of oil in a pan and add dry red chillies. Roast the chillies for few minutes. Keep aside.
Now add coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, carom seeds, black pepper and fenugreek seeds. Roast till the spices turn aromatic.
Transfer the roasted ingredients to a mixer jar. Add onion, garlic, soaked tamarind and turmeric powder. Add little water and blend to a smooth paste.
Into a clay pot, add a tbsp of oil. Add chopped onion and curry leaves. Saute for few seconds.
Add masala paste. Add some water and allow the curry to boil.
When the curry starts boiling, drop the fishes into the curry. After adding the fishes, swirl the pot so that the fishes are coated well with the masala. Avoid using spoon/ladle to give a mix. If using a spoon, you will have to gently move the fish pieces in the curry.
Cook covered for 8 to 10 minutes or until the fishes are cooked.
Serve hot with steamed rice, preferably brown (boiled) rice.
Sardine Pulimunchi | Boothai Pulimunchi
- 500 grams sardines (taarli)
- 10 dry red byadgi chillies (sookhi laal mirch)
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds (dhaniya)
- 1 tbsp cuminseeds (jeera)
- 1 tsp mustard seeds (rai / sarso)
- ½ tsp carom seeds(ajwain)
- ¼ tsp whole blackpepper (kali mirch)
- ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
- 1 ½ medium sized onion, sliced (pyaaz)
- 6 to 7 cloves of garlic (lehsun)
- 2 lemon sized ball of tamarind (imli)
- ½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
- 1 ½ tsp oil (tel)
- Few curry leaves (kadi patta)
- Salt as per taste (namak)
- Cut and clean the fishes. Add some salt to the fish while cleaning. Change the water 4 to 5 times while cleaning the fishes. Keep the cleaned fishes aside.
- Soak the tamarind in little water and keep aside for 20 minutes.
- Heat few drops of oil in a pan and add dry red chillies.
- Roast the chillies for few minutes. Remove and keep aside.
- Now, add coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds,carom seeds, black pepper and fenugreek seeds.
- Roast the spices till they turn aromatic.
- Transfer the roasted spices alongwith roasted chillies to a mixer jar.
- Add one chopped onion, garlic, soaked tamarind and turmeric powder.
- Add little water and blend to a smooth paste. Keep this masala paste aside.
- Take a clay pot and add 1 tbsp oil into it.
- Heat the pot.
- Add 1/2 onion (chopped).
- Add curry leaves and saute for few seconds.
- Now, add the masala paste.
- Add salt as per taste.
- Add little water and allow the curry to boil. Water should be added as per the desired consistency of the curry.
- When the curry starts boiling, drop the fishes into the curry.
- After adding the fishes, swirl the pot so that the fishes are coated well with the masala. Avoid using spoon/ladle to give a mix.
- If using a spoon, you will have to gently move the fish pieces in the curry.
- Cook covered for 8 to 10 minutes or until the fishes are cooked.
- Serve hot with steamed rice.
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