Known for its backwaters, rivers and long coastline, Kerala stands out for its cuisines in seafood. Along with staples of rice and cassava, fish also holds a prominent place. Rice and fish curry is a normal daily dish of an average Keralite. Sardines, Mackerel, Pearl Spots, King fish, Black pomfrets and tiny fishes like anchovies, Indian anchovies are the common fishes in this region.
Anchovies share a special standing and is popular among the varieties of small fishes. It is one of the fishes which has loads of nutrients in it.These are small salt water fish with more than 100 different species spread across the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
Anchovies not only contain large amounts of polyunsaturated fats, which can reduce the presence of LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol that build up in the arteries and increase your chances of heart attacks and strokes but also Omega-3 fatty acids which helps in building a healthy heart. Additionally, it is great source of protein. This small fish also aids in weight loss, prevent risk of osteoporosis, helps prevent premature aging, helps to reduce risk of skin cancer, reduces risk of cardiovascular ailments and protects against cataracts and macular degeneration (input courtesy :https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/animal-product/health-benefits-of-anchovies.)
Anchovies are either fried or cooked with spices and coconut. And also, as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of the invention, I gradually found out a way to make this tiny fish named anchovy to a fillet. Likewise, after the cleaning and washing of the fish is done, pull the bone from head end and it’ll come out in one go.
I did not add any water to this recipe. Cooked the fish in its broth. The coconut and other ingredients should be just crushed. It should not be a paste like dressing. Roughly pulse it in the small mill grinder. I used gamboge here for the sourness as I found this tastier than the other two options. We can use raw mango or tamarind instead. Nothing much to say about this recipe.
Clean and wash the fish. Remove the bones if your prefer filleting.
And, in a mill grinder add coconut, chillies, garlic, ginger, shallots, curry leaves and turmeric. Grind it coarsely.
Then, in a pot, add the fish, coconut dressing, gamboge and salt. Combine well.
Cook till done mixing at regular intervals.
Add the coconut oil and put on the lid and keep for sometime.
Serve hot with brown boiled rice.