Canned Mackerel/Sardine curry (hot and spicy) – Sri Lankan Style (“Samon (salmon) Hoddha”)


There are so many canned fish available in stores. Many are already mixed with sauces. For the recipe I am sharing today, you have to buy canned fish without any sauce. If you use fish with already added sauces, you won’t get the same taste. The canned fish I am using today is imported from Sri Lanka.

This recipe is very easy to follow and this dish can be served as a curry to several main dishes like white rice, bread and even string hoppers. So, here we go.



1 can of mackerel

½ a tomato – chopped into cubes

½ an onion – finely chopped

¾ tsp of red chili powder

1tsp of roasted curry powder

2 cloves of garlic

½ tsp of finely chopped ginger

4 cardamom seeds (Karadamungu)

3 cloves (Karabunati)

A small piece of cinnamon

A spike of curry leaves

A small piece of lemongrass (Sera)

2 tbsp of cooking oil

Salt to taste

Water as required


First, heat the oil under medium temperature and start frying the onion. Then, once the onions begins to turn to light brown, add garlic and ginger and continue stir frying for a minute.


Then, add tomatoes and stir fry.


Now, lower the heat and add all other ingredients except for the fish and water.


At this point, you should continuously and rapidly stir to evenly fry the chili and curry powder.


Remember, you should only do this for 5 – 10 seconds. Then, add the fish and stir fry all for about 10 seconds.


Add water around ½ to ¾ from the empty fish can. If you want a thicker gravy, add ½ a can and if not add ¾. Now, bring the curry to boiling point under high heat and, afterwards, bring it to medium heat level and simmer for about 8- 10 minutes. Finally, adjust the salt to your taste and enjoy the dish.




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