Netholi or Chooda is a small fish, commonly used in kerala. My mom used to prepare the netholi fry, peera and netholi with green mango curry. When we moved to US, i really missed all those dishes as because we hardly find this fish at any store...Finally google told us that our netholi is anchovy/Smelt..So search goes on... Finally got the frozen smelt in Kroger(one of the grocery shop).Fresh or frozen that doesn't matter ,we used to buy this smelt whenever we feel to eat the "meen peera"...Anyhow both this Smelt and Anchovy are big enough compared to our "netholi"..The taste is almost same...not as much as our netholis..(It seems that fishes from Arabian Sea are tastier than Atlantic/Pacific, just kidding::)))Nothing is better than something....
We can use any small fishes (or canned fish chunks) for preparing this peera... For example sardines, canned tuna or salmon etc are very good for this preparation...So if u donot have a chance to get the netholi, try this recipe with any other fishes mentioned above...
Netholi is really good for health..the small bones and also the meat have good amount of calcium.
If u buy fresh one, it's a little time consuming job to clean up the fish.While cleaning cut off the head and tail part and then clean the internal part also.Then wash it using lemon juice..I usually cut the cleaned netholi into 2 or 3 pieces .. (The frozen ones are comes with cleaned...). Peera will be more tastier with smaller pieces.
Cooking time : 20-30 minutes
Cost of the item: 4.99 usd/bag
Smelt/Netholi/Anchovy(cleaned and cut into small piece) : 20nos
Coconut :1/2 cup
Green chili : 5 nos split into 2 piece
Ginger : 1 medium size
Curry leaves : 6 leaves
Shallots/Onion:6 nos /1/2 portion of a medium sized diced
Oil : 2 tsp
Kokum or kudam puli : a small piece (optional)
Water : 1 cup
- First lightly crush the onion and ginger.
- Mix the coconut,crushed ginger onion, split green chili and curry leaves and the kudam puli
- Add the netholi pieces into it
- Heat a pan add the mix into it .Pour 1 cup of water to the mix
- Let it boil for about 15- 20 minute in medium flame
- Stir in between..once the water dried up add the oil into it then switch of the flame let it cool down for sometime.
The delicious "Netholi peera" is ready to eat..Have it with Rice...
Tips to go:
- You can soak the puli in one cup of water and use that water for cooking instead of adding the water puli separately...
- Do not add excess water...
- Better avoid to stir the mix using the spoon .Just close the pan and hold the handle then rotate the whole pan. this will help to avoid separating the fish-bone and meat.