Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ikan Bilis Sambal / Nethili Sambal / Anchovies Semi Gravy

Nethili sambal is a Malaysian Dish. I tasted it in my office canteen and immediately fell in love with the hot and spicy dry fish curry. It is mostly similar to our, nethili thokku or nethili pirattal but it has its unique taste when we add the belecan paste (a paste made with shrimps - got it from shen siong supermarket).


  • Nethili karuvadu / Anchovies (dry fish) - 1/2 kg
  • Onion - 2 (cut lengthwise)
  • Tomato - 1 (small)
  • Belacan paste - 2 to 3 tsp
  • Dry Red Chillies - 3
  • Garlic - 4 flakes (chopped finely)
  • Oil - 3 tsp
  • Chilli powder - 1 tsp  (optional)
  • Coriander powder - 1/4 tsp (optional)
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Turmeric powder - 2 pinches (optional)
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Coriander leaves - few
  • Water - if needed (optional)


  • Wash the anchovies nicely and allow to soak for 15 min at least.
  • Soak the dry chillies in hot water.
  • Filter the water completely, and mix the chilli powder, turmeric, little salt and coriander powder and allow the marination for another 10 min.
  • In the mean time, make a paste with the dry chillies and tomato and keep ready.
  • Now adding 1 tsp of oil, fry the anchovies nicely until crispy and keep aside.
  • In a pan, add oil, onion and curry leaves and fry them until light brown color.

  • Add the belacan paste and garlic and saute well, till the aroma comes.
  • Now add the fried anchovies and chilli paste.
  • If needed sprinkle little amount of water.
  • Check for the seasoning and switch off the stove.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and server this famous malaysian dish with roti, chappathi or plain white rice.

The actual recipe, do not allow the marination of chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder (my mom mixed it without my knowledge)

20 lovely comments:

Nandinis food

Ooh! Slurp! This is so good! I'd love to have some and I'm drooling so badly!


Nethellu....yummo!...very tempting....reminder to self...should go buy them on the next grocery day! they r done at home! :))


oooooooo..... mouth-watering recipe. :-)


delicious wonderful way to eat anchovies

Hamaree Rasoi

Anchovies look simply outstanding. Loved your recipe. Looks droolworthy.

Hamaree Rasoi


great recipe- nicely presented dear :)
US Masala


wonderful and looking delicious :)


wow so tempting and delicious !!


Love the picture.. woo.. good recipe..

Herbs & Flowers in my Platter - Coriander/Cilantro
Breakfast Club - Pancakes

Priya Suresh

Salivating here, droolworthy sambal..


Nice recipe. Sounds great.

Hamsamalini Chandrasekaran,


Nice spicy fish recipe.


Wow! it looks very tempting... Please collect your awards from my blog...

Binys Recipes

looking yummy and the pics are fab

Rekha shoban

delicious sambal!! tempting click!


Just one word- mouthwatering!!


Wow yummy crispy fry..looks so so tempting


romba supera irukku...


Looks tempting. My hubby's fav dish.


Akila, when ever I try this, somehow my throat is aching; not sure if I am doing something wrong. Or maybe I am allergic?

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