Video guide for Meen Peera Pattichathu or anchovies with tangy, grated coconut

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 6


500 gms small fish - anchovies or natholi

150 gms shallots, sliced

2-inch ginger, finely chopped

8 green chillies, slit in halves

2 cups grated coconut

3 tbsp coconut oil

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 pinch of fenugreek powder 

5 to 6 slices of Kudam puli or Malabar tamarind

2 to 3 sprigs of curry leaves

½ cup water

Salt for taste

For pounding:

50 gms of shallots 

2 green chillies

1 ½ inch ginger



Step: 1

Wash the tamarind well. Tear them into smaller pieces and soak them in water for 10 minutes.

Step: 2

Pound the ingredients listed for pounding, with a mortar and pestle. Keep them aside

Step: 3

Slice the shallots, Chop the ginger and slit the green chillies, keep aside

Step: 4

Pulse together grated coconut and turmeric powder in a grinder without adding water.

Step: 5

In an earthen pot, add the pounded ingredients, sliced shallots, chopped ginger, slit green chillies, coconut mix, two sprigs of curry leaves, salt, two tablespoons of coconut oil and the fish. Combine these ingredients well. Then add ½ cup of water. Finally, add the tamarind. Cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Step: 6

After 10 minutes, cook the fish covered on high flame till it boils and then continue the cooking on a medium flame for about 6 to 8 minutes. Occasionally open the lid and rotate the earthen pot, while gently titling it, to mix everything. You may also use a wooden spatula to mix but make sure the anchovies don’t break, or the ingredients are not getting scorched at the bottom.

Step: 7

Once it is cooked well, open the lid completely and continue to cook the fish over a medium-high flame until most of the liquid has dried up.

Step: 8

Finally add a pinch of fenugreek powder, a few curry leaves and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Then swirl gently. Keep it covered, so the tamarind flavours are absorbed nicely. 

Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy with hot rice.

Recipe courtesy: Sobha Varghese is a homemaker based in Mumbai, India. Sobha runs a popular YouTube blog called ‘Sobha's Kitchenette’ that focuses on authentic and traditional Kerala recipes.

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