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Nethili Fish Fry | Anchioves Fish Fry | Nethili Meen Varuval

Its been a while since I had fish and seeing these pictures makes me crave so badly for some fish fry. Talking about this, these pictures were clicked when I was home and Amma made Nethili Meen Varuval (Anchioves Fish Fry). Amma usually cleans these tiny fish and remove the bones and only fries the freshly part. Its easier to chew and eat them not having to worry about those tiny bones. But in my opinion if you find tiny version of Anchioves you need not remove the bones and directly marinate the fish and fry them. 

Many famous South Indian restaurants serve this Nethili Fish Fry in a bed of fried curry leaves. The fish are crisp since they are mostly deep fried. This version of Nethili Fish fry are not crisp for two reasons one they are more freshly and they are shallow fried. Make sure you get fresh fish to make this recipe, marinate overnight and fry them the next day. While serving, make sure it is nice and hot and drizzle some fresh lemon juice for an extra punch.


Recipe Source - Amma
Serves - 3-4 generously 
Serving suggestion - warm drizzles with lemon juice, along with white rice and any curry or as a starter


Anchioves/ Nethili Fish Fry - 1/4 kg
Oil - to shallow fry
Curry leaves - 2 springs 

For Marination 

Red chilli powder - 2 tsp
Fish masala - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste 


1. Clean the fish with cold water along with lime, turmeric and salt, pat dry and place on a plate. 
2. Take all the spice powders along with salt, ginger garlic paste, lemon juice and form a thick paste. Apply on the fish and leave it in refrigerator overnight for spices to blend. 
3. The next day take the fish out and bring it to room temperature (60 mins) and then heat pan with oil and place the fish and let it cook on each side for 6-7 minutes such that the fish is fully cooked. 
4. Do not disturb or keep flipping sides.
5. now with the remaining oil fry the curry leaves for few seconds until crisp

Serve hot with rice and curry.

Cooks Wisdom

Tip 1

I highly recommend to marinate the fish overnight or at least for 4-8 hrs for maximum flavour, always remember to refrigerate the fish for marination not freeze. And take them from refrigerator 1 hrs before shallow frying them 

Tip 2 

You can go ahead and use the same recipe to deep fry the fish if you are looking for a crisp version

Tip 3

This marination recipe is a basic one you can use the same marination for other fish fry recipes

Tip 4

Store bought fish masala can be used instead of red chilli powder and coriander powder.

Check out my other fish varieties here 


  1. Yummy though I did not eat fish this is so inviting akka.look like plantain varuval.

  2. Tempting netholi fry...yummy..

  3. i dont eat fish but this plate looks very inviting dear..thanks for ur wonderful presence on my blog today..lots of love..


    the plate looks super cute too doll:)

  4. thats a super cute plate dear..i dont eat fish but this plate looks so inviting to me :)
    thanks for ur wonderful presence on my blog today loved each n every word of urs..lots of love


  5. Delicious and lovely looking fish fry.

  6. my hubby's favourite...drooling dear

  7. tempting fish fry priya...delicious plate...

  8. So spicy n hot luking dear.lovely plate last one,:)

  9. so crispy fried....wud love to have a few of them straight from the pan !

    Wishes for a very happy year ahead...

  10. Not a fish eater, despite that I must admit the dish looks tasty. All that masala. I think it could be adapted to potato, yam, colocasia ?

  11. i feel like grabbing that cute plate priya... i love nethili fry, especially when it becomes really crunchy... looks so yum..

  12. Wow yum!!! mouthwatering here by seeing the click...

  13. Nethili Fish fry looks super tempting da.. Great as a starter.. :)


Thank you for visiting, I hope you enjoyed my recipes :-) In case you have tried any of the recipes featured here, do let me know in the comment section. For any other queries email me - cooklikepriya(at)

Priya Ranjit

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