July 5, 2011

Nethili Meen Fry / Anchovies Fried Kerala Style

This is probably my most favourite Kerala fish recipe - nethili (natholi / uzhuva) fry. Its supposedly high in calcium because we eat the bones too.

nethili meen fry anchovies kerala fish fry recipe

Anchovies make regular appearance in a lot of Asian cuisines, especially in Malay dishes but those are much tinier than the ones I have seen in Kerala. I hear these are also called bait fish because of their size and alternate use.

nethili meen fry anchovies kerala fish fry recipe

Since I don't cook meat or fish in my kitchen, raw fish/meat slightly turns me off. I contemplated for a long time before posting this. Its one for the Kerala non vegetarian lovers :)

nethili meen fry anchovies kerala fish fry recipe

My mom adds a special ingredient to the marinade to make it yummier. Its probably common in your kitchen but she got the tip a few years back and nethili fry in our kitchen has been awesome since then.

Nethili Meen Fry / Fried Anchovies Recipe
Serves: 2-4
Recipe source: Amma

250gm nethili meen / anchovies
2-3 tbsp maida / plain flour or half an egg (the extra ingredient amma adds!)
Oil to deep fry

For Marinade:
8 shallots
3-4 cloves of garlic
2" piece of ginger
1 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
A pinch of turmeric powder
1/4 tsp pepper powder
Salt to taste
Water as needed

How Its Made:

1. Clean the fish and cut / pinch off the head part. I have never cleaned fish so no tips from me here, sorry.

2. Grind all the ingredients for marinade into a smooth paste. Mix in with the fish and set aside for atleast an hour.

3. Heat enough oil to deep fry about 1/4th the fish at a time. Before frying, mix in half the egg or the maida and make sure its well incorporated into the fish-marinade mixture. This gives a nice texture to the fried fish.

4. Fry until nicely browned. At home we prefer fish that's not fried to the bones so that the flesh is still soft. Go with what your heart says.

nethili meen fry anchovies kerala fish fry recipe

Always serve fried fish with chopped, raw onions. Always. Trust me on this, the onion-breath afterwards is worth it.