If sodhi (egg sodhi) is the Indian coconut milk dish, then the Malay version has to be masak lemak. Coconut milk indeed is the star ingredient for both the dishes, sodhi can be rather plain and simple, whereas masak lemak is further elevated with local herbs and either the fresh sardines or canned ones seemingly a favourite as well (sardine sambal with potatoes, bread sardine rolls, assam laksa, papaya sardine curry, instant asam laksa and asam laksa lemak). For me, while I prefer fresh sardines, I suppose canned ones are a matter of convenience as in this thick, spicy, creamy and vibrant sardine masak lemak.
2 cans (300g) sardines (drain out the sauce)
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 tbsp lime juice (or as preferred)
1 tomato - sliced
4 tbsp oil
Salt for taste
2 sprigs spring onion - sliced thinly/shredded
Spice paste - to blend/ground
3 bird's eye chillies
3-4 dried red chillies
1 inch galangal/lengkuas
1 inch fresh turmeric/kunyit
4 candle nuts/buah keras
1/2 inch ginger
** Blend/ground with water for a smooth paste
In heated oil, fry paste till aromatic and oil splits.
Add tomato and pour in 1 cup of water.
Simmer till gravy is heated through.
Add sardines and season with salt.
Just as 2 to 3 minutes, pour in coconut milk and lime juice.
Stir, remove from heat and combine in coriander leaves
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