Monday, 21 January 2008

Kozhuva Meen Tilappichathu (Kerala Anchovy Curry)

Of late I haven't kept myself updated with the events in the food blogosphere. It all boils down to laziness. When I read about the RCI Kerala event, my laziness had to take a holiday. The recipe I am blogging about hopefully is an authentic Kerala one. I got it from this site and made a few modifications - not to the ingredients, but to the way they were prepared. It is bit strange that I could not find any information or about how authentic this recipe is. If any of you out there know more about this recipe, please let me know. I would like to know about its origin and this is one of the reasons that I am posting this recipe as part of RCI Kerala. It is strange in another way - the ingredients are crushed (only very old recipes call for crushing instead of grinding) and the sour element is got by Vinegar (I would expect Vinegar to be associated with Goan cuisine). With the rattling done, the recipe procedure goes like this......

Kozhuva (Nethili) - 500 gms
To Grind (coarsely)
Small onions - 25 (or 2 big red onions)
Garlic - 2 pods
Ginger - 1 inch
Green chillies - 3
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 Tbsp
Curry leaves - 1 twig
Lemon juice - Juice of half a lemon/lime
salt as required.

The original recipe calls for crushing the ingredients under grind. Although on holiday, my laziness would not let go of me completely and hence I got my good old blender and intended to ground them coarsely and ended up grinding them smoothly. Anyway after grinding them, heat oil and pour the ground ingredients and chillies. Adding ginger and garlic for a fish curry is a first for me. When the raw smell of the ginger-garlic is considerably less, add the turmeric and chilli powder along with some curry leaves and water. Let the gravy bubble for a few minutes. Add the fish to the gravy and wait until the fish is cooked. Take the fish off the stove and add the lemon juice. The original called for vinegar, but somehow I couldn't get myself to add vinegar to this curry. My apprehension of adding ginger and garlic for the curry was completely misplaced and the result was yummy. All I can say is, I am glad that I tried out this recipe and will definitely try it when I can get hold of some more anchovies.


rich chris said...

hi devi,
this recipe [meen thilappichathu] is from cochin side of kerala it is indeed a very authentic one and I remember my grand mother making it and she used to mention how tasty it used to be when her grand mother used to make it. so u can imagine
how old this recipe could the way in my house they never used garlic for this recipe and lime is a big no no for this recipe but 2 or 3 drops of vinegar is ok but my modified version has tomato in it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Devi,

Nice blog :-). This fish curry is called Kozhuva ( natholi ) pollichathu in Eranakulam. My Amma adds vinegar and its so delicious :-). I'll try with lime juice any way !