Anchovy Fish curry Kerala

Anchovies- Netholi Fish Curry, Kerala Recipe With Raw Mangoes

Kerala style fish curry with anchovies & raw mangoes…

Spicy, tangy & tasty fish curry with anchovies. Anchovies are small sized fish & is widely available in Kerala. In Canada, it’s not available in the Canadian stores, some Asian stores have it. The other day, I got frozen anchovies from the Kerala store in my city. I was excited to cook with it, fried anchovies tastes delicious.

These are slightly big anchovies. In Trivandrum, Kerala this is called Ko Netholi & in some places it’s called Kozhuva. Whatever you call it, these are really tasty fish. I fried some of the anchovies & the remaining I turned into a curry.

Kerala fish curries are spicy & tangy, tamarind is usually added tom impart the tanginess. For this curry, I’ve added raw mangoes which imparted the slightly sour tastes, also the cooked raw mangoes taste really good.

I enjoyed this fish curry with Kerala matta or kuthari rice.

Anchovies- Netholi Fish Curry, Kerala Recipe With Raw Mangoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 5 people
  • Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp
  • Large shallots, sliced- 4 (or add 10 small or pearl onions)
  • Ginger, chopped- 1 tsp
  • Garlic, chopped- 2 cloves
  • Green chilies, halved- 2
  • Curry leaves- 10 leaves
  • Kashmiri red chili powder- 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tbsp
  • Tomato, chopped- 1
  • Salt- 1½ tsp
  • Water- 1 cup
  • Anchovies, netholi- 15 to 20
  • Raw Mango, diced- 1, medium sized
  1. For making this curry, I've used big anchovies, known as Ko Netholi or Kozhuva in Kerala.
  2. Instead of tamarind, I've added raw mangoes. If you don't have raw mangoes, soak 2 inch slice fresh tamarind in ½ cup lukewarm water for 5 minutes, squeeze the tamarind in water, strain the tamarind extract.
  3. Place a clay pot or saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Add coconut oil, let turn hot.
  5. Add mustard seeds, let splutter.
  6. Add fenugreek seeds, saute for a few seconds. Do not burn the seeds.
  7. Add small onions or shallots, saute for 2 minutes.
  8. Add curry leaves, chopped ginger, garlic and green chilies. Saute till onions turn golden in color.
  9. Add Kashmiri chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt. Combine well.
  10. Add chopped tomato, combine well.
  11. Add water and cook till water comes to a slight boil.
  12. Add anchovies and diced mangoes, combine well and cook covered for 15 minutes.
  13. Anchovies will cook really fast, don't over cook they will break apart.
  14. Taste and add more salt if required.
  15. If the gravy is thick, add some water to thin it down & cook for 2 minutes.
  16. Remove the pan from the heat and keep covered for some time.
  17. Enjoy with rice, chapati, idiyappam, appam, orotti, pathiri, puttu, etc.



Thas is the author of Cooking with Thas, a popular food blog with recipes from Indian, American and Fusion Cuisines. She has been blogging since 2009 and been featured in several magazines. Read more...