I often make Fish Curry with big fish fillets like King Fish, Tilapia and so on. My friend Lisha shared a recipe for making a nice spicy curry using Anchovies (Kozhuva/Netholi). Whenever my Mom makes fish curry, she uses only Fish Tamarind or Kudam Puli, which I guess is the way of making Fish Curry in and around Kottayam. Whereas, in this recipe Tomatoes and Tamarind (Vaalan Puli) are used instead of Fish Tamarind (Kudam Puli). Usually Netholi is used for making Meen Peera (with coconut) but this is a new recipe for me and it tastes good.
So do try out this easy recipe for Spicy Red Netholi Curry.
- Anchovies (Kozhuva/Netholi) – 1/2 lb or 1/4 kg approx
- Finely Diced Red Onions – 1 medium
- Diced Tomatoes – 1 big
- Green Chillies – 3 or 4
- Minced Ginger – 1 tbsp
- Minced Garlic – 1 tbsp
- Curry Leaves – A sprig
- Red Chilly Powder – 2 tsp (Alter according to your spice tolerance)
- Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Fenugreek Powder (Uluva Podi) – 1/4 tsp
- Tamarind (Vaalan Puli) – Gooseberry Sized Ball
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- Water – as needed
- Wash and clean the anchovies thoroughly. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and 1 tbsp lemon juice to water and soak the anchovies for 5 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
- Soak the tamarind in a cup of warm water. Extract the juice and keep aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a deep pan. Add the onions and saute until they begin to brown lightly.
- Add curry leaves, green chillies, ginger and garlic and saute for a few more minutes.
- Throw in the diced tomatoes along with salt and cook until the tomatoes are pulpy and mashed.
- Reduce heat and add chilly powder, turmeric powder and saute for a minute. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp fenugreek powder and stir for a few seconds.
- Add the tamarind extract along with 1 more cup of water and salt to taste.
- Increase heat and bring the gravy to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the anchovies. Cook covered for 15 minutes swirling the pan occasionally.
- Switch off the stove and cover the pan. Keep this fish curry for at least 2 hours before serving, so that the fish absorbs all the flavors.