Sardine And Kale Jhura

Sardine and kale jhura
A bengali favourite
Spicy sardines in tomato sauce an kale
A delicous tasting food in a bowl!

You want a quick fix? Something to rustle up with larder staples? You have the Sardine and Kale jhura!

So what’s a Jhura?

It’s essentially a dry dish, cooked gently and dried in the process. Often it has a vegetable element but its not necessary.
A jhura can be just veg, fish or meat itself, usually broken up and crumbly textured but often a combination. This can vary according to region, personal preferences and family recipes.

Pretty much every Bengali will have sardines in tomato sauce as a cupboard staple. For a jhura you can use any fish in brine but this recipe uses the sardines in tomato sauce for the tangy flavour it imparts!

You don’t need kale but I love the texture, you can use spinach, green peppers, cauli stems, potatoes, courgettes or beans!

My middle daughter loves it!
As a child this was a firm favourite as a sandwich with left overs after school and in latter years after work!

It still remains a regular in our household not for sheer convenience or speed, more so because we love it!


1 onion finely chopped
4 tbsp oil
1/4 cup pasata
3 chillies slit
1 tbsp cumin
2 cloves of garlic, quartered lengthways
1 tbsp curry powder
3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
1 can of sardines in tomato sauce
2 cups kale
1 tsp chilli powder
Salt to taste, I used 1 tsp
1/2 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp coriander powder


Take a non stick pan and add oil, onions, 3 sliced garlic, salt and slit fresh chillies.

Fry garlic, onions and chillies

Gently cook this on medium heat untill the onions have softened and gently coloured.


Next add the passata and again cook this covered until the oil is starting to separate

Let oil separate and split

Add the turmeric, chilli powder, curry, coriander and cumin. Cook this for about 30 seconds stirring constantly.

Spices go in

Now add quarter cup of water to the spices.
Cook this covered for a few minutes until the oil starts to split and separate and water has evaporated.

Water to loosen
Gently cook out

When you can separate the spices with no liquid residue, your masala is cooked and ready for the sardines.

No water residue

Now add the sardines, keep the can, break up the sardines in the spice masala. Use the sardine can and rinse and add 2 cans of water. Stir well.

Small 120g can of sardines in tomato sauce
Add fish and break up well
Add 2 canfull of water and stir well

Add the kale, 2 garlic cut lengthways, mix again. These will give a lovely bite and texture to the sardine and kale jhura.

Add kale

Cover and cook stirring frequently until the liquid has evaporated.

Mix and cover to cook
Stir frequently

You will notice a darkening of colour you a nice sheen to the kale as it cooks. The sardines should be completely disentegrated and combined into kale and sauce.

Let it dry gently
Should have sheen and no liquid

Taste for salt and adjust if required.

Dry and darker colour

Transfer to dish and serve! I served it with rice and some mint bhoras!

Served with rice and mint pakoras

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