Surekha's Cookhouse

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Dry Anchovies Fry (or) Dry Fish Fry (or) Nethili Karuvadu Thokku

Spice up your boring lunch with this dry anchovies/nethili thokku. The distinct flavour of these tiny bombs with the coconut masala gives it a new dimension to the regular thokku recipe.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2-4

If you’re a non-vegetarian then you would have come across these tiny delicious fishes called anchovies/ nethili. Its famous for its distinct flavor which give an umami ride to your pallets. These stinky little fish is added from famous pizza sauces to Cesar salad dressing for its distinct flavor. If you have not tried do give it a try.

Are you bored with regular dry anchovy recipes? Give this recipe a try and you will be surprised. When all we do with dry anchovies is dry fry and curry, this recipe is a semi gravy and from my MIL once again. A savior recipe which comes on handy for easy lunch preparations. This nethili karuvadu recipe is easy to make and delicious with just steamed rice on its own. This smells amazing even before the dish is complete.

Hope you will give this recipe a try and have a happy family meal.

Watch the video recipe here

Ingredients Required:

Dry anchovies/ Nethili Karuvadu 100 grms
Onion 1 medium
Tomato 1 medium
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Oil 2-3 tbsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Chili powder 2 tsp
Salt To taste
Curry leaves few

Coconut masala:

Garlic 3-5
Ginger 1 inch
Green chilies 2-3
Coconut 2-3 tbsp


1. Firstly clean and wash the dry anchovies/ nethili karuvadu. See tips

2. Lets make coconut paste. In a clean blender add garlic, ginger, green chilies, coconut and grind into a slightly coarse masala.

3. Now combine the cleaned anchovies/ nethili with the masala and marinate for about 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile in a kadai heat some oil, mustard, cumin and allow the seeds to splutter.

5. Then add few curry leaves, onion and sauté till golden.

6. Now add tomatoes, turmeric, chili powder, salt , cover and cook the mixture until the tomatoes are mushy. Take about 5 minutes

7. Finally add in the marinated anchovies/ Nethili mixture, water and mix all together.

8. Cover & cook this on a medium low flame for about 10-12 minutes or until the oil oozes.

9. Finally garnish with coriander and serve with hot steamed rice.


1. Cleaning dry anchovies/ Nethili with a bit of salt and then washing it makes it easy and fast to clean.
You could soak the fish in some hot water to make them soft.

This recipe is viewed 1980 times
Posted by Surekha on May 5, 2018, 9:30 a.m.

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