Soak the Kashmiri chillies in lukewarm water for 10 minutes.
Drain the water and keep it aside.
Pulse the Kashmiri chillies in a blender.
Add the green chillies, shallots, ginger, curry leaves, salt, and blitz again.
Now add the grated coconut, and rice flour, and grind to a thick paste.
You can add water, that was kept aside, as required while grinding with the grated coconut.
Add more salt if required
This is our marinade and it also forms the fish fry base.
Clean and score the sardines.
If the marinade is too thick, add some water (or coconut milk for an even better result).
Coat the sardines with the marinade.
Heat some coconut oil in a pan. A cast iron pan works well.
There should be enough oil to cover half the height of sardines when placed.
Once the oil is hot, reduce to a low flame. We don't want the fish to be crispy fried.
Gently place the sardines. You will have to fry them in batches (unless you have a big pan).
Add some extra marinade also in the gaps between the sardines in the pan.
Slow fry for 5 minutes. Turn over the sardines and fry the other side as well.
Take them out of the pan using a slotted spoon and transfer to a serving plate.
You can use paper towels to soak up some of the extra oil.
Fry the marinade in the pan for a couple more minutes and extract them too.
Repeat for the remaining sardines.
If there is any marinade remaining, fry that too in the pan and add it to the top of the fried sardines.
Serve hot. Tastes great with rice and curry.