Netholli Fry / Nethilli Fry/ Anchovies Fry – Kerala Style





Hello Everybody! It’s the weekend and I love Fridays!

Fridays for me means, more family time! With my husband and my baby. I get to cook what he likes, I get to see them both playing and having fun.

This time I decided I wanted to make a nice Kerala Style fish fry for our Friday night dinner. So here is the recipe.

Ingredients :-

  1. Netholli / Nethilli / Anchovies – 1 kg
  2. Chilly Powder – 3 tsp
  3. Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Pepper Powder – 1 tsp ( more if you like it spicy)
  5. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Ginger Garlic Paste –  2 tsp
  7. Curry Leaves – 8 – 10 leaves
  8. Salt – 1 tsp
  9. Vinegar – 3 tbsp
  10. Oil – To fry the fish ( I used half a cup)

Instructions :-

  1. Firstly clean the fist well. I do not like the head so I cut off the head, take of the scales and clean it well
  2. I also use green gram flour to clean my fish ( 5 – 10 times)
  3. Finally once your fish is nice and clean, drain out all the water and set it aside
  4. Now in another bowl, combine all the other ingredients except the oil
  5. Mix to for a nice paste like consistency
  6. Now add the cleaned fish to the “masala” paste and rub the masala well into the fish
  7. Let the fish marinate for at least 1 hour ( I leave mine over night in the fridge)
  8. Once you are ready to cook it ( make sure it is back to room temperature)
  9. Heat oil in your kadai ( or deep heavy bottom pot)
  10. Once the oil is nice and hot, slowly fry the fish in small batches of 5 -7
  11. Once fried set aside on a clean paper napkin
  12. Serve hot with freshly cut onions




Kerala Style Fish Fry (Dedicated to my Amma for mothers day)

A perfect Kerala style lunch should and must consist of a fish fry! And this recipe is the one my mom taught me. I love Seer fish. There is just one big bone that runs in the centre of the fish and its very easy to clean too. I will do a segment on how to clean a fish once. It is important that you clean fish well in order to avoid food poisoning and also that pungent smell while cooking it.

♥ Fish can be very tricky when it comes to tossing it over when you fry it. So be careful and handle it gently. Unlike meat like chicken or mutton, it tends to break into pieces if not handled with care. Use a nice flat spatula to turn the fish over. I used a burger flipping spatula. Any kind would do just as far as it has a nice flat mouth that will allow the fish to sit as a whole on it

♥ While frying the fish, after placing the pieces on the pan, keep it pan closed for a few mins. This will allow the fish to cook from within and also remain nice and soft on the inside

 ♥ Try not to put too many pieces as at once cause when you flip the pieces over you really want a lot of space to move around and maneuver the fish

Kerala Style Fish Fry

Kerala Style Fish Fry


Kerala Style Fish Fry


 For Marinating :-

  • Fish Pieces – 6 big pieces ( I used Seer Fish)
  • Small Onions / Shallots – 6-8 peeled and blended to a paste
  • Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
  • Pepper Powder – 1tsp
  • Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
  • Coriander Powder – ½ tsp
  • White Vinegar – 1 ½ tbsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp


  • Oil – 4 tbsp ( any neutral smelling oil will do)


  • Mix the chilly + turmeric + coriander + ginger garlic paste + shallots paste + pepper powder + salt and vinegar. This will make a nice think red paste
  • Apply this paste on the fish pieces liberally coating the fish completely
  • Keep aside to marinate for 1 – 2 hrs
  • Once ready to fry, heat oil in a pan (I used a flat pan cause I did not want to deep fry the fish)
  • Slowly place the fish on the heated oil and cover for the first two minutes. This will help contain the moisture in the fish and let it cook in its juices. And once one side is down gently turn to the other side and fry well.
  • Serve fish hot along with flavored ghee rice and “challas”/ the simple onion salad


Kerala Style Fish Fry
Kerala Style Fish Fry
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