Fried anchovies

Anchovies are small fish which in Konkani language are called Velio, and are extremely popular not only in Goa but in many parts of India especially the coastal areas. There are many variations to cooking them, mainly frying, and with various marinades, in different parts of the country. In Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, they are known as Ikan Bilis in Malay, Ikan Teri in Indonesian and Dilis in Filipino. In all these cuisines, the most popular method to cook them is to deep fry them to a crisp and serve as a starter. Dried anchovies are popular in Europe and are served in tapas bars as an appetizer. They have very soft bones, that once crisp you can eat them along with the fish. This recipe is for pan frying, and we do not use any flour as a coating. We stop the frying just as the flesh is cooked enough so that it comes off the bone with ease. It’s quick and easy.

What you need:

  • Anchovies: 300g
  • The Women of Fatorda Green Recheado masala: 2-3 tbsps
  • Lime juice: 1 tbsp
  • Curry leaves: optional
  • Salt to marinate
  • Oil for frying

Step 1 – Wash, clean the anchovies by rinsing in cold water. Remove the head and slit them down the belly to clean internally. You can keep the tail if you prefer. Sprinkle some salt and the lime juice and keep it aside for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 2 – Marinate the fish with the Green Recheado masala so that they are generously coated. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Step 3 – Heat 3-4 tbsps of oil (you can use coconut oil which alters the taste slightly to the more traditional flavour or take any neutral refined oil) in a cooking vessel. Add a few curry leaves (optional).

Step 4 – Add the fish one by one to the heated oil, and fry them on each side for 5 minutes.

Step 5 – See if the fish is firm to the touch. Remove and drain the excess oil with kitchen paper. Serve hot with mint or coriander chutney.

Note – Like all our recipes, this preparation is only a suggestion and it’s up to you to customise it to your liking. For example, a popular dish in Goa is crispy anchovies which are rolled in rava (semolina) after marination, and deep fried. You can also use all purpose flour. Anchovies and other small fish can be marinated with many of our masalas like Fisherman Barbecue or Aamso Tiksso and you can follow the same method to pan fry. Do let us know how your variation turned out. You imagination is the only limit. Do let us know of your efforts at [email protected] or else you can upload your recipe here.

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