Miami Herald

Chale Sauce With Sardines


Active time: 15 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

4 servings

Make ahead: The sauce can be made before adding the fish and refrigerat­ed for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 6 months. Storage notes: Refrigerat­e for up to 4 days.

Where to buy: Fonio can be found at well-stocked supermarke­ts, West African markets or online.

3⁄4 cup canned diced or crushed tomatoes, with their juices,

or 10 ounces fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped 1 jarred roasted red pepper

1 small white onion (5 ounces), roughly chopped

One (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped

1⁄2 small red Scotch bonnet or habanero chile, seeded, or

teaspoon of cayenne for a milder heat

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon extra-hot Madras curry powder (may substitute

regular Madras curry powder)

1⁄2 teaspoon extra-hot chili powder (may substitute regular

chili powder)

1⁄2 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste

12 ounces canned sardines, in oil, drained

Lemon wedges, for serving

Cooked rice, fonio, kenkey or banku, for serving (see


In a blender, combine the tomatoes, roasted pepper, onion, ginger, chile, tomato paste, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, curry and chili powders, and salt and blend on high speed until you have a smooth paste.

Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan, set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the sauce is at a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasional­ly, until the sauce thickens and the ingredient­s have melded, about 30 minutes.

Gently add the sardines to the sauce and cook until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully, so as not to break the sardines, transfer to a platter and serve with lemon wedges as well as rice, fonio, or kenkey or banku (see headnote). Nutrition informatio­n per serving (2 to 3 sardines and 1⁄3 cup sauce) | Calories: 221; Total Fat: 10 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Cholestero­l: 121 mg; Sodium: 629 mg; Carbohydra­tes: 10 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugar: 5 g; Protein: 23 g

Adapted by cookbook author and registered dietitian nutritioni­st Ellie Krieger from “Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen” by Zoe Adjonyoh (Voracious, 2021).

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