Spicy Sardine Satti Sorru
Updated: Jun 8
I once went to a bar in the outskirts of Little India in Singapore and ordered the most delicious 'fried rice'. It was a spicy nuclear bomb in my mouth, the type that got me sweating as I was eating, and the type only I would have made for myself. This took me by surprise, so now I was intrigued.
Satti sorru based on my understanding is an Indian claypot curry rice. In Kuala Lumpur where it's very popular, shops would serve it in piping hot claypot bowls just like Chinese claypot rice. It's basically a fried rice made with leftover spicy curry, cooked and stirred over high fire to crispen up the rice and meats.
It's my kind of dish - easy, SPICY, clears the fridge of leftovers and is damn bloody tasty!
**FYI in order to cook this dish, I had to cook a sardine curry AND THEN fry up the rice. So here's a bonus recipe within a recipe!
Recipe serves 4-5 people. 5 mins prep time, total cook time approximately 30 mins.
For the sardine curry
1 can sardine in tomato sauce
2 chili padi
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tomato, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 bunch curry leaf
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste
For the fried rice
3-4 cups cooked rice
1 cup green beans, chopped
1. In a large frying pan, fry garlic and fennel until fragrant. Add curry leaves, cumin, chili powder and curry powder, fry for 1 min.
2. Add ginger paste and sliced onions and dry until translucent and almost brown.
3. Add tomatoes and chopped chili padi.
4. Once onions and spices are well combined and fragrant, add the entire contents of the can of sardine. Top off with 1/2 cup of water and let it simmer on medium heat.
5. Add salt to taste. Cut up the sardines and stir occasionally until the water is absorbed and the gravy is thick - your sardine curry is ready!
6. Remove sardine curry and set aside.
7. In the same pan, add oil and quickly fry the chopped beans.
8. Add 3-4 cups of leftover rice that's been kept in the fridge with spoonfuls of sardine curry. Add more or less curry according to the thickness that you prefer. I ended up using 3/4 of the curry for 3 cups of rice.
9. Add salt to taste. Fry until rice is charred on high heat and serve with sprinkling of chopped spring onion.
ALY'S COOKING TIPS
1. Use leftover rice that's been left overnight in a fridge. This rice contains less water and ensures your fried rice is not mushy. If you do not have overnight rice, I like to leave my cooked rice in a freezer for 15 mins before using it for frying.
2. You can use whatever curry of your choice but this works best if your curry is thick. Consider cutting your meats to smaller pieces if they are too large.
3. Long beans are completely optional but I love the crunch in my fried rice.
4. Be patient once you add the rice. I added scoops of curry one by one, mixing in between each scoop. This coats the rice with this tasty charred curry flavour that's mind blowing. I also like to leave the rice to cook for 1 min, and scrape the sides each time I do this to guarantee delicious charred-ness!