Nethili meen kulambu / Anchovies fish curry

nethili fish kulambu1

Nethili or Anchovies are small sized fish that could be consumed with the bones.Nethilies get cooked very quickly ,less than a minute.
Usually these small sized fishes are more tastier compared to the big ones but the cleaning part is time consuming and so boring The head and the fins should be removed ,the stomach part should be cleaned well to avoid the smell.
Fish kulambu tastes great the next day.So you can make them a day prior and take good rest ,leaving a day off for you and your kitchen .



SERVES : 4-5

nethili fish kulambu


1 & 1/2 cup nethili / anchovies

15-20 dried red chillies

10 shallots ( small onions )

A gooseberry sized tamarind

1 & 1/2 tsp cumin powder

2 cloves garlic

A small piece of ginger

5 tbsp sesame oil

Salt to taste

Water as required


Discard the head and the fins (tail part)of the fish.Clean the stomach part in water to avoid bad smell.
Grind the red chilies to a fine paste by adding few tbsp of water.

clean th fishes and grind the red chillies to fin paste

Grind the shallots ,ginger,garlic with cumin powder to a very fine paste with water.

grind shallots withumin powder

Soak the tamarind in 2 cups of water for 1/2 an hour.Filter through a strainer and discard the residue.

saok tamarind in water

Pour the tamarind juice in a large flat pan and bring it to boil.Add sesame oil and small onion paste.

add sesame oil,onion paste

Then add red chilly paste,turmeric powder and let it boil.

add red chilly paste,turmeric powder

Add salt and let it boil in high flame.

add salt and let it boil

Let it boil and become thick.At first the kulambu will be watery but after 12-15 mins they will become thick and the oil separates.Now reduce to low flame.

oil must separate

Now add the nethili fish and cook for just 1-2 minutes in low flame.Switch off the flame now and do not stir the kulambu after adding the fishes.Let it set for 30 mins before serving.

cook for just 2 mins

Serve the Yummy Nethili meen kulambu with hot steamed rice.

anchoives fish curry


Red chili paste gives such bright red color to the kulambu also enhances the flavor and taste.

Do not stir the kulambu at any time.

After adding the fishes cook for just 1-2 mins.


21 thoughts on “Nethili meen kulambu / Anchovies fish curry

  1. Hi swapna,

    I like this fish very much but we do not ear this fish at home, as we only eat halal fish, but many times I enjoy it with my friends at Onam hotel near my house. Thanks for sharing this recipe 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My grandma lived in Guntur. She used to send this curry for me all the way to Hyderabad because these fish weren’t available in Hyderabad and i loved it. Now she is no more and i miss her . Your pics reminded me of her 😢 and her yummy dish. Thank you for sharing 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi. Thanks for the receipe. I have tried it today. While we pour (shallots and other incrediemts) into tamarind, it may give raw smell. What we have to do for that. If we over boil it came as gravy not as curry. Suggest me.


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