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)