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Sardines in masala

Prep time
25 mins
Cooking Time
5 mins


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  • 20 medium-size sardines, cleaned 
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Coconut oil for frying


  • 300 ml/10½ fl oz/1¼ cup cottage cheese or yogurt
  • ½ cucumber, deseeded and finely chopped
  • Handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Cut the heads and tails off the sardines to prevent them burning. With a sharp knife, cut diagonal slashes 2 cm/¾ inch apart into the sardine flesh on both sides. Mix together the turmeric, chilli powder, pepper and salt in a bowl. Coat the sardines all over in the spice mix and lay them on a plate.
  2. To make the tzatziki, add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Put in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to come together.
  3. Heat coconut oil in a frying pan (skillet) over a medium-high heat and fry the sardines in batches on both sides for 2–3 minutes, depending on how thick they are, until golden brown.
  4. Serve the sardines with a little of the aromatic oil from the pan drizzled over and the tzatziki on the side.
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