No simple sarmie, this revved up version of an iconic street food staple comes with just the right combo of spice, bite and chili charm. Make the most of its bracing but balanced relish and enjoy with a glass of Nederburg Duet. A Shiraz/Pinotage blend of succulent berry, cherry fruit and oak, it gives a sinuous, silky edge to this this awesome dish.
3 Tbsp (45ml) sunflower or canola oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 Tbsp masala powder
1 sprig curry leaves
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground cumin (or cumin seeds)
1 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1 can (410g) chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
1 large potato, peeled and cubed into 1cm cubes
1 can (400g) hot chilli or tomato flavoured sardines
8 mini rolls
Fresh coriander and tomato salsa for serving
Cook the finely chopped onion and grated garlic in the oil over a low to medium heat until soft – for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the spices and cook for a minute. Add the ginger, canned tomatoes, sugar, potatoes, and about ½ a cup of water. Cover with a lid and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and a fragrant oil layer has formed on the surface of the curry.
Remove the sardines from their sauce and carefully clean out the bones and stomachs, if there are any. Stir the sauce into the curry and lay the sardines on the surface of the curry. Pop on a lid and leave to heat through for 5 minutes.
Hollow out 8 mini rolls (keeping the base of the roll intact, so that the curry has a little bowl to sit in) and fill generously with the curry. Garnish with a tomato salsa and fresh coriander, if you like. Enjoy with a glass or two of Nederburg’s delicious Duet.
CHEF’S TIP: You can replace the canned sardines with a can of chickpeas and 200g sauteed mushrooms for an easy vegetarian option.