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Nethili Meen Kulambu | Anchovy Fish Kuzhambu Recipe | Village Style Fish Curry

Nethili Meen Kulambu
Nethili Fish Kuzhambu is a semi thick gravy made with anchovy fish. This type of anchovy fish kuzhambu is commonly made in the villages of tirunelveli. Unlike the other fish kuzhambu which are made little watery, this nethili fish is always thick and the time to make is also less. Though this gravy is thick, it will suffice for rice. Here the fish should be first mixed with the masala and the other ingredients before keeping on flame. Also we add the tempering at the beginning itself and we do not add coriander powder to this curry.

Anchovy Fish Kuzhambu Recipe

Nethili Fish Kuzhambu

Recipe Cuisine: South Indian | Recipe Category: Kuzhambu
Prep Time: 10 mins | Cooking Time: 20 mins | Serves: 3


Nethili fish - 1/4 kg
Tomato - 1
Green chilli - 1
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Tamarind - very small ball sized

To Grind:

Coconut - 3/4 cup
Onion - 100 gm
Cumin / Jeeragam - 1 tsp
Red chilli - 15

To temper:

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds / Vendhayam - 1/4 tsp
Small onion - 100 gm
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Oil - 2 tblspn


Clean the fish and remove its head part. Wash it and keep aside.

Take coconut, cumin, red chilli and onion in a blender. Grind it to a smooth paste adding little water.

In a vessel, add the ground masala, chopped tomato, slitted green chilli, turmeric, salt and 1 cup of water. Unlike other kuzhambu, here we add only very little water. Cook on medium flame for 5 mins.

Pour tamarind extract to this.

Heat another pan, add 2 tblspn of oil. Once oil becomes hot, add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds begin to crackle, add  fenugreek, chopped small onion and curry leaves.

Once onion becomes soft, pour it over the kuzhambu. Cook on low flame for 15 minutes or until it is ready.

Enjoy with hot rice.

  • Adding more small onion gives a nice taste
  • We don't add coriander powder to this.
  • Keep the onions chopped before making this gravy for seasoning. Since the fish will be cooked soon, it should be added immediately after 5 minutes.
  • Do not add too much tamarind as this gravy should not be very sour.

ingredients for anchovy fish curry
Keep all your ingredients ready. Fenugreek is missing in the above picture
for masala
Take coconut, cumin, red chilli and a cup of onion in a mixer
grind masala
Grind it to a smooth paste adding enough water
chop veggies
Chop the tomatoes and small onion. Slit the green chilli
clean the fish
Clean the fish remove its head part
take everything
Now in a vessel, take the ground masala, turmeric, slitted green chilli, tomato and salt to taste
fish added
Add the cleaned fish
add little water
Add 1 to 1.5 cup of water and mix well
cook for 5 mins
Now, switch on the stove and keep in medium flame
pour tamarind extract
Add tamarind extract and cook for 5 minutes
Meanwhile, in another vessel heat little oil and crackle some mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds(fenugreek not in picture)
saute onion
Add chopped onion and curry leaves
Saute till the onion becomes soft
pour seasoning
Add together the seasoned onion into the fish pot
Mix well and cook for 10 minutes or till the fish is ready
its ready
Remove from flame once done
Village Style Nethili Fish Curry
Serve hot with white rice

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