Netholi mulaku curry/Kerala style anchovies in red gravy


Netholi/Anchovies – 500 gm

Pearl onions/shallots, sliced – 1/4 cup

Ginger, chopped – 2 tbsp

Garlic, chopped – 2 cloves

Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

Kashmiri chilli powder – 2 tbsp

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves

Coconut oil

Salt as needed

Cambodge/Kudampuli – 2 pieces


Clean netholi/anchovies by removing the head and tail. Put 2 tsp of salt into the fish and gently rub with your hands to remove the smell and dirt. Wash with several changes of water. Drain the water. Set aside the anchovies.  

Soak cambodge/kudampuli in 1/4 cup of water for 15 minutes. Set aside. 

Soak coriander powder, kashmiri chilli powder, and turmeric powder in small amounts of water. Set aside. 

Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard and fenugreek seeds. Saute shallots, ginger, garlic and curry leaves. When the color of the shallots turns to light brown, add soaked powders, which is set aside earlier. When the raw smell of the powder leaves, add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of water, soaked cambodge, and salt. Allow it to boil. 

When it is boiled and the gravy starts to thicken, add fish. Cook for 2 more minutes and switch off the stove. Immediately close with a lid. 

Note:- Netholi/Anchovies cook very fast. Take care not to overcook them or else you can see the fish break into smaller pieces.  

Love Fish! Check other fish recipes here.

7 thoughts on “Netholi mulaku curry/Kerala style anchovies in red gravy”

    • Kudampuli is used in kerala fish recipes to bring sourness and it aids in digestion. It is a sour fruit, which is also used in ayurveda. In supermarkets, you can find it by the names of Gambooge, Cambodge.


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