Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Anchovy fish curry

Nethili meen kulambu (meaning - anchovy fish curry) is a heart healthy dish preferred by those who can't take fatty fishes like king fish. Anchovies are recommended for their property to reduce bad fat. In villages, they won't temper this kind of meen kulambu. I like the taste of small fishes like sardines (salai meen) ,anchovies (nethili) better than the larger varieties. Chinese people, who know the medicinal value of these fishes, buy the anchovies in dried form to prepare soup. Enjoy!

Nethili meen kulambu waiting in the dining table:)


Items required: (To make 4 cups of thick gravy)
Anchovy - 1 lb (or)1/2 kg
sesame oil - 2 tbsp
mustard seeds- 1 tsp
fenugreek seeds (methi)- 1/2 tsp
Tamarind - 1 small lemon size
Red chilly powder -1 tbsp
coriander powder- 3 tbsp
turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
tomato - 2
green chillies - 2
curry leaves- 2 sprigs.

To grind:
shredded coconut - 3/4 cup
shallot - 8
cumin seeds - 1 tsp

How to clean the anchovy fish?
First put all the fishes in a basin of water and rinse the anchovies to remove any sand or impurities.
Then remove or retain the head as per taste. (If you are frying them, then the head will taste great, for this curry we can remove them. But I prefer to keep the head on). Cut and remove the tail. Slit gently in the boneless stomach side and remove the (greenish) digestive tract.
Wash once again.
Apply little turmeric powder over the fish and keep aside.
Anchovies are ready for cooking now:)

Curry preparation:
Extract juice from tamarind and add chilli powder, coriander powder, pinch of turmeric powder, salt and mix well.Keep aside.

Heat the sesame oil in a thick bottom vessel. (Fish curry prepared in earthen vessel tastes good).Add mustard and fenugreek seeds. After the mustard seeds crackle add the curry leaves .

Then add the finely chopped tomato and saute till becomes mushy.
Add tamarind juice mixture and let it boil for 5 minutes.
Then add the finely ground coconut-onion paste.
Immediately after this starts boiling add the cleaned anchovies.
cover the vessel and simmer the heat.
Cook it in very little flame for 15 minutes.
DO NOT stir the curry after adding the fish, otherwise you may end up with broken pieces.
Then put off fire. If needed garnish with chopped green chillies and curry leaves.

Note:
Serve hot with rice, chapathi or Idly or dosai .
We may not need any side dish if we are adding more anchovies.
The left over meen kulambu will taste heavenly the next day along with idly for breakfast.

FYI:
I have read somewhere that this idly and fish curry combination is the most favorite for Tamilnadu's former  Chief Minister (MGR), (late) Mr. M.G.Ramachandran :) Recently I started watching his movies and found them very stylish and lively. Never thought I would enjoy them like this:)


19 comments:

sharada said...

mouthwatering curry....yummmmm
Again a nice blog.
Love to follow you dear:)

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Fish curry looks so delicious and spicy. Would love to add rice and finish it.

Deepa
Hamaree Rasoi

Sushma Mallya said...

nice recipe viki,would go very well with hot steamed rice

Suman Singh said...

I haven't tried anchovies yet but that looks so tempting and delicious curry..perfect with some hot steaming rice..yumm yumm!

Swathi said...

Delicious curry.

Priya said...

Delicious and yummy fish curry, makes me hungry..

divya said...

Gorgeous and super delicious curry...

aipi said...

that looks wonderful, I love the texture and color of the curry :)



US Masala

Suja Sugathan said...

Spicy and yummy curry,great with rice.

Gulmohar said...

Love anchovy..I usually have it in dry dishes..

Ambreen said...

Your Fish curry sounds great...looks delicious!

Sunitha said...

Hi Viki,
I just love ur blog, superb!!!!
Just wanted to know where in NJ you get Nethili. I am a big fan of Nethili and I don't get it on CT where I live. Can you please give me the address or shop name ?

Sunitha

Viki's Kitchen said...

Hi Sunitha, Thanks for the lovely comment. Anchovies can be bought throughout the year in Asian foods, Hongkong Supermarkets, Chinese seafood stalls. CT is the fishing zone for anchovies, so you can get them fresh. You type your address / zipcode in google and search 'nearby' Asian food or chinese grocery and you will get the results. That's how I buy them.
Enjoy! thanks.

Sunitha said...

Hi Viki,
Thnx for ur reply. I have been living in CT for the past 10 yrs, I have been searching for 'fresh' anchovies, all chinese stores have only dried ones. If you could give me the name of chinese store where you get in NJ, that would he great, I don't mind driving for fresh anchovies. Pls let me know.

Thnx,
Sunitha

Sunitha said...

Hi Viki,

I am not sure whether you got my previous message. I am living in CT for the past 10 yrs, I searched all the Chines food markets here in CT, but not able to find fresh anchovies. if you could tell me the address or the name of the chines place where you got fresh anchovies in NJ, I do not mind driving to NJ for the fresh nethils. Please let me know. You can also contact me at sunithasolomon@gmail.com

Thanks,
Sunitha

Sunitha said...

Hi Viki,

I am not sure whether you got my previous message. I am living in CT for the past 10 yrs, I searched all the Chines food markets here in CT, but not able to find fresh anchovies. if you could tell me the address or the name of the chines place where you got fresh anchovies in NJ, I do not mind driving to NJ for the fresh nethils. Please let me know. You can also contact me at sunithasolomon@gmail.com

Thanks,
Sunitha

Viki's Kitchen said...

Sunitha: 1. Hongkong supermarket, East brunswick, NJ
2. Asian Food center, 1339 Centennial Ave, Piscataway, NJ 08854
(732) 981-0730, You can call them before starting.
best wishes to get your favorite anchovies dear. Happy weekend!

Sunitha said...

Thanks a lot Viki!!!

Viki's Kitchen said...

Happy Easter Sunitha!