"Sukkem" as it translates to "dry" is a semi gravy preparation with any fish. It is a quick one pot recipe usually served as a side dish with fish curry rice. Here is the spicy tangy recipe for Tallyaanche Sukkem or sukkem made with sardines.
1. In a mixer, using minimal water, make a paste with the coconut, red chilies (both spicy and kashmiri), tamarind, turmeric powder and black pepper. The paste need not be very fine, it should be coarsely ground.
2. Clean the sardines by taking the scales and fins off. Remove the intestines and the head as well. Cut each sardine into 2 pieces and wash well. In a cooking vessel add the sardines, chopped onion, green chilies (cut into 3 parts each), salt, the ground masala, coarsely ground ginger (in a mortar and pastel) and teflam (lightly crushed with mortar and pastel).
3. Mix once very well. Place this on the stove, add solam, cover and let it cook on a medium flame. Do not stir it or the fish will break. Just gently move the entire vessel occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
4. Turn of the flame when the fish is cooked and the curry comes to a boil. Serve hot with fish curry rice.