If you are a great fan of sea food and belong to Chennai, then you won't need an introduction to this crispy starter, the deep fried anchovies (Nethili meen varuval). In Chennai (Madras), India the restaurants like Madurai Appu, Ponnusamy,Velu military hotel,Pandyas, Anjappar (the list goes on....)are known for their exotic non-veg menus. So don't miss a plate of these crispy anchovies if you get a chance.
I have seen some restaurants serving the full anchovy (with head , tail and small fins too) removing the tract. Believe me this kind will taste great. But I have to remove most of the parts because of my Xav:) He hates fish head and I love it ...weird huh:)So if you are like me, then use the whole fish.
Mostly I prefer non vegetarian buffets while visiting my favorite Indian restaurants. The power of the Indian starters like tandoori chicken , kebab, fish fry will be such that one cannot get satisfied with a single selection of starter:)
I know many of you are like me and so here is an attractive dish to satisfy our palates:)
Anchovy fish deep fried.
Anchovy fish (nethili meen)- 1 lb
(1 kg will approximately yield 80 big size anchovies)
Salt - to taste (1 1/2 tsp)
Red chilly powder - 1 tbsp
cumin powder - 1tsp
coriander powder - 1tbsp
lemon juice / vinegar - 2 tbsp
rice flour - 2 tbsp (for crispiness)
Red food color - 1/10 tsp (optional)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil to deep fry - 200 ml
How to clean anchovy fish?
Wash and clean the anchovies to remove any sand or impurities. Rinse it in large amount of water thrice to remove the sand, if bought fresh.
Then remove or retain the head as per taste. (If you are frying them, then the head will taste great). Cut and remove the tail. Slit gently in the boneless side to remove the (greenish) digestive tract.
Again rinse once. Apply 1 tsp turmeric powder and keep aside.
The anchovies are ready for cooking now.
Add all the powders, salt, food color, lemon juice and mix well.
Mix this with the cleaned anchovies and marinate for an hour.
We can fry them immediately also.
Heat oil in a pan.
Deep fry the fishes in small batches till crispy.
Anchovy fish fry is ready!
Serve as starter or side dish with rasam / sambar / fish curry in rice.