The Tao of Sardine curry

August 31, 2015


I cook a delicious canned sardine fish curry. It’s so dam tasty, I never fail to eat it at least three times a week.

This is the only brand of canned sardine I ever use, make sure it’s sardine and not mackerel that you’re buying!

Canned Sardine fish curry

1 large can sardine (425g), tomato sauce flavour
1 tomato, chopped
1 tbsp of chopped ginger, garlic and onion
3 sprigs of curry or one bay leaf
1 onion, sliced
2tbsp cooking oil
100ml water

1/2tsp mixed mustard seeds
1/2tsp coriander seeds
1/2tsp cumin seeds

1tsp salt of taste
1tsp sugar
1tsp light soy sauce
1tbsp fish curry powder
1tsp red chilli powder
1tsp turmeric powder

1. Remove sardines from can, retain the tomato sauce
2. Pan fried sardines (without oil) in a non-stick pan, till both sides turned brown, set aside.
3. Heat oil in a wok, add in ginger, garlic and onion paste and curry leaves, stir fry till fragrant.
4. Add in mustard, coriander and cumin seeds, mix well.
5. Add in the canned sardine’s tomato sauce and water, add in the seasonings.
6. Once sauce boiled, add in the pan fried sardines, cook for 1min.
7. Add in chopped tomato and onion slices, cook for another 1min.
8. Dish out, serve hot with steam rice.


‘Many people make fun of me in the village, they whisper amongst themselves, he doesn’t have a wife, that’s why that bugger wears khaki all the time…it hides the dirt and another thing… he only seems to eat canned sardines all the time.

But these people don’t ever know that I can transform the humble canned sardine into something wondrous and magical – to me, the entire world and much more can be found in a can of sardines.
That is simply an allegory of how 99.9% of life really is, to put it another way, it’s all up there in your head!

If you can somehow convince yourself a can of sardines is just a cardboardish meal on the go – then it becomes precisely that. But if you have the power to reveal it nuanced subtleties…then it can be a meal comparable to that served to a maharaja.

By the same logic, if you can somehow convince yourself, you are suffering – then suffer you will. The reverse holds true as well.

But if like me you have the uncommon knack and knowledge to transform the mundane into something special…then suffering will always be highly optional…Often in life when we come across others who seem to have it all together….it is quite normal to feel assaulted by the nihilistic idea…you are missing out in life.

In this way we script ourselves inadvertently into victimhood simply because, one side of our mind is able to convince the rest, we are missing out on something good in life that everyone else seems to be enjoying.

Usually that sense of missing out is misplaced and overrated and it can only serve to mislead you into believing you are suffering, when you actually have the option to be happy.

It’s very easy for me to be happy even when I eat sardines. As I love sardines. A can of sardines makes two meals. The first I have with rice usually in the evening after a hard day in the field and the overnight portion I will mush up to spread on sandwiches with lashings of cucumber for the following day. I can go thru about ten sandwiches when I am out in the field. I can even eat canned sardines three times a day, 365 days a year. I am not kidding…I am the God of canned sardines!’

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