Jun 11, 2013

Nethili Meen Kulambu (Without Coconut) / Anchovies Cooked in a Spicy Tamarind Sauce

Making fish curries are one of the staple food of us. We make it on each saturday. My husbands favorite one is this fish curry. But to be frank i was totally bored to make that again and again. I wanted to make a curry that has no coconut in it. And this is the answer, It is made from the small anchovies and it tasted divine. The cool thing is you dont need coconut for it. My hubby tasted it and he liked it too. I hope you will love it too.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves - 5 to 6
Recipe Source: Tasty Appetite


Anchovies / Nethili Meen - 3 cups cleaned
Coconut Oil - 2 tblspn
Mustard Seeds / Kaduku - 1 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds / Vendayam - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 spring + 1 spring
Onion - 1 large sliced thinly
Tomato - 2 large chopped finely
Brinjal - 1 large cubed
Mango - 1 small cubed
Chilli powder - 2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder / Malli podi - 1 tblspn
Turmeric powder / Manjal podi - 1 tsp
Tamarind Pulp - 3 tblspn (Click here for recipe)
Salt to taste


Heat a kadai with oil, when it is hot add in mustard, fenugreek and curry leaves.

Add in onions and saute till it turns light golden.

Now add in tomatoes and saute till oil separates. Add in salt and mix well.

Now add in turmeric, chilli, coriander and pepper powder. Mix well.

Add in brinjal, mangoes and mix well. Pour in some water and cover the pan. Cook for 10 mins till the brinjal is cooked and the sauce is thick.

Add in tamarind pulp and mix well. Cover again and cook till oil separates.

Now add in anchovies and cook for 5 to 10 mins.

Throw in a handful of curry leaves and switch off the flame. Cover the pan till serving.

Serve over rice.


Take all your ingredients

Clean some lovely anchovies

Crackle some spices and curry leaves in oil

Add in onions

Saute till light golden

Add in tomatoes

Saute well

Add in salt

Cook till it turns mushy

Add in spice powders

Toss well

Add in brinjal and mangoes

Pour in some water

Let it cook

Cover and cook

Cook till oil floats on top

Add in tamarind

Mix well

Cover and simmer again

Add in the fish

Mix well

Leave it to cook

Throw in some more curry leaves


Enjoy with rice


  1. Looks so tempting.... lovely fish curry...

  2. Wow!! such a tempting preparation with this fish.. yumm!!

  3. I like these little fish. The kolambu looks nice.

  4. It sure looks like a lovely fish curry, and so full of flavor. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Can get the aroma of this gravy from here itself, fingerlicking kuzhambu.

  6. I am delighted to have found you on facebook and had to head over to check out your website. This dish looks absolutely delicious and I love your step by step photos. Looking forward to keeping in touch. Take Care, BAM

  7. Hi
    Yummy Tummy. I have tried some of your recipes and suchly it has turn out to be good.

    I am going yo try this fish curry out today. As always hoping it will be good too. Well need your advice. If I have the ready made fish or chicken masalas, can I substitute with those masala powders which in your recepis.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


  8. Hi!
    The fish curry turn out so well.

    Thanks for your advice.


  9. Hi I need ur help in fish Cury

  10. Your recipes are really good.

  11. Tried this recipe today.... It came out great.... I was not satisfied with d taste..untill i added d fish...n then...it took a great changeover...perfect balance... Temptingly tasty....

  12. Looks great. You are so lucky to have access to fresh anchovies. I might try this with fresh sardines.


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