One of my sisters emailed me a recipe this week for 'Mumbai Sardine Chutney' using tinned sardines and mango chutney - and I confess my first reaction was 'YUK'!
But she said it was much nicer than it sounded and that they had had it twice in a week as it was good value, easy and tasty. So of course I gave it a try. And it was all of those things.
I had some leftovers and the next night thought I'd use some mushrooms that were in the fridge to add to the sardine curry, but then decided rather than mixing it straight in I'd try making a mushroom version on its own and then combine.
However, I found I much preferred the version made with mushroom rather than sardines!
I did find the sardine flavour a little strong for my taste, although I would have it again. In the meantime though, I've had the mushroom mango chutney curry twice more as I wanted to be completely certain that this slightly unusual sounding combination actually does go together.
And for me, it does. I'd love to know your thoughts on this one - whether it's on the sardine or the mushroom variation!
Let's start with the original, with the sardine curry.
For 2-3 portions, you'll need
cooked rice or chapatis, to serve
1 small-ish white onion, chopped
1 green pepper
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp turmeric
2 bay leaves
2 x 120g tins sardines, drained
2 tablespoons mango chutney
a handful of coriander, chopped and a little red chilli sliced, if liked (it's quite spicy anyway)
Put a little slosh of cooking oil in a frying pan, add the chopped onion and green pepper and cook over a low-medium heat until soft. This always takes longer than I think (as I'm used to fast stir-frying!) and takes probably 5 or 6 minutes.
Add the spices and bay leaves, fry for a few seconds then add the sardines and mix well.
Add a little splash of water if it's too thick, and cook for a couple of minutes until the sardines are hot through.
Stir in the mango chutney then top with the coriander and chilli (if using) and serve with rice or warm chapatis.
To make the mushroom, version, well, it's exactly the same ... except with mushrooms!
I used about this many which made enough for two small chapatis (yes I ate both), so I halved the quantities of everything else, using half an onion, half a green pepper, etc.
I did add a splash of water to the mushrooms while they were cooking.
I also made a quick yogurt raita to have with the curry - just a very small garlic clove very finely chopped, some natural yogurt, some diced cucumber, all stirred together and drizzled with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt.