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anchovies fish in a spicy curry

Nethili Meen Kulambu

Nethili Meen Kulambu - A spicy, tangy and delicious fish curry which goes well with steamed rice or Idly or Dosa
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Keyword How to make nethili meen kulambu, nethili meen kulambu recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 296kcal
Author F for Flavour


  • 250 grams Nethili Fish / Anchovies
  • 20 - 25 Shallots chopped
  • 1 Tomato Finely chopped
  • 1 Raw Mango (Manga) chopped
  • 1 small lemon sized Tamarind
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp Red Chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Urad Dal
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds (vendhayam)
  • 1/4 cup Gingelly Oil
  • Salt As Required
  • 2 Green chillies


How to make Nethili Meen Kulambu

  • Wash and Clean the fish in a Colander under running water well. Sprinkle some turmeric powder and mix well.  Keep Aside.
  • Take a small lemon sized tamarind and soak in warm water for 20 minutes.  
  • Heat a Clay pot. Once hot, add gingelly oil.
  • Add mustard seeds, urad dal and fenugreek seeds(vendhayam).
  • Now, 2 green chillies, lots of curry leaves and chopped shallots. Cook till shallots turn soft.
  • Add turmeric powder, Red Chilli powder and coriander powder. Saute for few seconds.
  • Now add chopped tomatoes. You need to cook till tomato turns mushy and forms a gravy(thokku like consistency). Add required salt as it will help in cooking tomatoes faster.
  • Add Chopped raw mangoes and a cup of water. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 3-4 mins.
  • Take the soaked tamarind and squeeze well. Discard the fibre. Now add the tamarind juice and 1 cup of water to the curry. Mix well.
  • Cook covered for 10 mins in medium flame. You will oil floating on the top. Taste the curry and adjust salt and spice.
  • Now add cleaned Nethili fish / Anchovies to the curry and let it cook for 5 - 6 mins.
  • Switch off the flame.



  • Wash the fish very well to avoid bad odours.
  • Adjust the spice level according to your taste preferences.
  • Coriander powder thicken the curry. So you need to add 1 tbsp of Coriander Powder.
  • You can omit Raw mango and use only Nethili Fish.
  • You can also add brinjal to this curry.