Netholi / Kozhuva Curry
A delicious fish curry in Kerala Cuisine. Best with plain rice.
Serves: 3 - 4
For the coconut masala / paste:
5 – 6 tablespoon grated coconut (75 - 90 g)
8 whole red chillies (soak whole red chillies in 1/4 cup water for 1 hour. Remove chillies and reserve water to grind the coconut paste)
1/4 teaspoon methi seeds ( uluva / fenugreek ) or ¼ teaspoon uluva podi / powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
Make a smooth paste of above ingredients in a small mixer bowl with reserved water in which red chilli soaked. Keep aside.
For the fish:
350 g Netholi / Kozhuva / Anchovies (net weight after cleaning)
Wash and clean fish pieces. Drain out water completely. In a bowl, marinate fish pieces with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder. Cover and keep aside for 1 hour.
1 tablespoon oil
5 - 8 small onions ( chuvannulli / sambar onion / shallots ) thinly sliced or 2 tablespoon normal onion, thinly sliced
1 - inch piece ginger, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 green chillies, slit lengthwise
1 spring curry leaves or 6 nos
3 kudampuli ( kokum ) ( soak kudampuli in 1/2 cup water with 1 teaspoon salt for 1 hour , remove kudampuli , strain out water and reserve for cooking purpose)
1/2 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )
150 ml water (Please measure in Indian standard cup of 200 ml / 8 oz capacity)
Heat oil in a pan / meen chatty ( earthen pot ). Fry sliced onions (shallots or normal onion) and fry until golden color.
Add chopped garlic, ginger, green chillies and curry leaves and fry till golden color.
Add soaked kudampuli, reserved water in which kudampuli soaked (it may be 2 tablespoon), salt to taste and 150 ml water (less than 1 cup / 200 ml).
Cover with a tight lid and cook on a medium heat for 10 – 12 minutes until slightly thickens.
Add marinated fish, cover again and cook for 5 – 7 minutes until half done.
At this stage, add coconut paste, also adjust the salt if you required. Do not add extra water now. Gently mix all the ingredients. Cover again and cook on a low heat for another 5 - 7 minutes or until done. Consume this curry after minimum one hour. Then the gravy and fish will absorb all the flavours. Serve with rice.