Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Dry Anchovies Curry / Nethili / Netholi Karuvaadu Kuzhambu

Dry Anchovies / Nethili Karuvaadu Kuzhambu is a South Indian Style curry made with shallots, tomatoes and tamarind paste. This gravy is spicy, tangy and amazingly flavourful. It pairs well with steamed rice.



  • 20 Dry Anchovies
  • 2 Tablespoon Sesame Seed Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Sprig of Curry Leaves
  • 10 Big Shallots Peeled, washed and chopped finely
  • 1 Large ripe tomato chopped finely
  • 1 Tablespoon Coriander Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Tamarind Pulp
  • 5 tender baby brinjals chopped ( optional )
  • Salt to taste


1. Re-hydrate dry anchovies : In a bowl add dry anchovies. Pour 250 ml of hot water over the dry anchovies. Let the anchovies remain the hot water for 20 minutes
2. Then clean anchovies by removing those tiny head and fish bone. You can skip this step if you like to keep the head on. Wash the cleaned anchovies in tap water and drain them on kitchen towel
3. In a pan / wok heat oil. When the oil is hot, add the anchovies and sprinkle little bit of salt over them
4. Fry anchovies on high flame till they are crispy. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen towel
5. In the same wok, add mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds to the remaining oil
6. When the mustard seeds splutter, add curry leaves
7. When the curry leaves splutter and turn crispy, add garlic cloves and fry for few seconds. Do not brown / burn the garlic
8. Immediately add finely chopped shallots and 1/2 teaspoon salt and fry until shallots are light golden
9. Then add tomatoes and fry until tomatoes are mushy and oil separates from the mixture
10. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and 2 tablespoon water and fry for 2 minutes until water evaporates and oil separates from the mixture
11. Add baby brinjals and fry for 2 minutes
12. Now add tamarind pulp and salt along with 1 cup water. Mix everything together and let the brinjals get cooked through
13. When the brinjals are almost cooked, add fried anchovies and cook for 5 to 10 minutes
14. You can add 1/2 cup thin coconut milk at this stage and cook the gravy for 2 more minutes. I did not add coconut milk
15. Serve hot with steamed rice

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