Thursday, October 15, 2020

Nethili Karuvadu Kuzhambu | Dry Anchovies Curry

Nethili Karuvadu Kuzhambu, a delicious, spicy and tangy curry made with dry anchovies. Couple of months back, I bought a pack of anchovies from the local indian store here and tried this anchovies curry a couple of times and it's one of my favorite dry fish curry with all the country vegetables. 
But due to the current pandemic situation, i couldn't source all the vegetables needed for that curry, and i was not satisfied with the taste, so kept the pack aside for a while. Later one day when talking to Amma  casually mentioned about the dry anchovies that i had and not able to source all the vegetables.

Immediately she gave me the idea of making it in a slightly different way, as always the next day I gave itself a try to pair with uluntha soru. OMG, it was so delicious and even ST liked it so much given the fact that he is not a fan of both the ulunthu soru and karuvadu kuzhambu but his exact word during that lunch day was "Amirthama iruku". What else do I need, right?? 

So glad that I nailed the recipe !!! In our family, we have the habit of adding boiled eggs to the karuvadu kuzhambu whether it's served with plain white rice or ulunthu soru, so i'm also following the tradition and always serve boiled egg with dry fish curry. 

Back in school and college days, though i like the karuvadu kulambu so much, i didn't mentioned about it when that topic came mainly because most of the people gave you that weird look and ask "Nee athuellam sapduviya??/Do you eat such things?". 

Still wondering why karuvadu comes under disgusting food, may be because of this strong umami flavor and have heard people say the same reason over the years including the die heart non vegeterian lovers. But me, I like karuvadu especially for its flavor. If you like dry fish like me, then you must give a try on these curry !! Now let's check on how to make this super delicious nethili karuvadu kulambu

Nethili Karuvadu Kuzhambu | Dry Anchovies Curry

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Curry | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Dry Anchovies, Nethili Karuvadu, Karuvadu kulambu, Nethili kuzhambu, Nethili Karuvadu Kuzhambu,Dry Fish Curry, Nethili Karuvadu Kuzhambu, a delicious, spicy and tangy curry made with dry anchovies.
Nethili Karuvadu/ Dry Anchovies - 20 
Drumstick - 1/2
Garlic - 8  cloves
Tomato -1(small)
Tamarind - small gooseberry size
Fenugreek seed - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Salt - to taste
Red chili powder -1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 & 1/2 tsp 
Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
To grind
Grated coconut - 3 tbsp
Peal onion - 2 
Garlic pods - 3 cloves
Cumin seed- 1 tsp

First soak the dry anchovies in warm water for 30 minutes and clean it well. Soak the tamarind in water for 30 mins. Cut the drumstick into 2 inch length and slit it vertically. Peal the garlic and keep it ready. In a mixie jar, add the ingredients listed under "To grind" and grind into smooth paste.
Heat the pan with oil, temper the fenugreek seeds and then add the garlic and curry leaves. Saute the garlic in the oil for 2-3 mins, then add the drumsticks and saute them for couple of mins.
Next add the tomatoes and spices(turmeric,red chili and coriander powder) and roast it in the oil for 30 secs.Take care to not burn the spices.
Extract the tamarind juice from the soaked tamarind and add into the kadai immediately. Add the required salt for the curry(Keep in mind that some dry anchovies might have more salt in it, so under do salt here and if needed add more at the end. )
Add the coconut paste and adjust the consistency of the curry by adding more water. Bring into boil and let it simmer for 8-10 mins or until the oil floats on the top.
Once the raw smell leaves from the curry, add the dry anchovies and mix it well.
Keep them covered and let the dry anchovies cook well. 
Tasty Nethili Karuvadu Kulambu is ready.  Serve it with boiled rice.
  • As i have already mentioned, depends on the salt in the dry anchovies, you can add more or less salt in the curry. Since i had used this packet of dry anchovies earlier, i knew  how much salt is needed, so add it in the curry initially or else i would cook dry anchovies first and after given the taste test only if needed add salt. 
  • Even without drumstick, you can make this curry
  • In addition to the garlic, you can add some pearl onions too in the curry.


  1. Yummy. Some people hesitate to talk about Karuvadu, because of the smell. Even people who are vegetarian but started eating chicken, will not like Fish. Again due to smell.