Monday, March 1, 2010

Beerakaya nettalu koora / Ridged gourd with Anchovies

Beerakaya nettalu koora / Ridged gourd with Anchovies

Ridged gourd known as turai, luffa, heeray kayi, tori, peerkan kai, and finally beerakaya in telugu is a common veggie used in India in various curries, chutneys and fritters.

                            Image courtesy from here. I forgot to take a picture.

Anchovies are small fish which are used are dried fish for flavoring dishes or just like that for making a curry out of them. It is used more in the coastal regions on India, but all over India who are familiar with them use it. Here in US, I get my anchovies from the local Asian market (not the Indian grocery), sometimes in the refrigerated section. They are called 'nettallu' in telugu.

My husband and me like them but neither of my kids prefer them. Also while cooking, there is some smell of the fish which my kids detest!! But we like them so I make them from time to time.
It may be a little difficult for a first timer to get used to it, but once they try it I am sure they will like it.
Anchovies get along with many of the veggies like, tomatoes, green plantain, ridged gourd etc.,.
I like to eat them fried to crispy just like that.

Anyways, how come I made this curry today?..It was a request from husband. Well he actually asked for Rendu royallu with beerakaya (dried shrimp with ridged gourd) but I didn't have any dried shrimp, so I used nettallu. None of my kids ate it, only me and my husband enjoyed it.


2 large beerakaya (ridged gourd), peeled and chopped
3/4 cup anchovies, cleaned

1 tbsp oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
3 green chillies, chopped
5-6 curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves


Cleaning of Anchovies:

They come dried in a packet, head and all. To clean take off the head and the stomach area. Clean by rubbing them together in water and soak in warm water for about 10 minutes.

This is how they look after they are cleaned. Head and stomach area taken out.


In a pot, heat oil, add the onion and green chillies. When onion starts turning translucent, add the ginger-garlic paste and the curry leaves and saute. Then add the cleaned and soaked anchovies and saute for a minute before adding the chopped beerakayi. Saute and add the turmeric, salt and chilli powder. Beerakayi tends to give out a lot or water or moisture. So cook until most of the water is evaporated and the curry come together. Garnish with chopped coriander. Serve hot with rice, roti or chapathi. Enjoy!!!

Tip: When adding salt, be a little cautious as the anchovies already have salt in them since they are dried in salt.
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  1. Akka/pinni/Atta/Vadina,
    Em analo telidu kani,
    Nettalu anna word vini ,entane vandali anipichesindi.
    Naku ila Yendu royya/nettalu to em chesina telidu.
    Intaki stomach cleaning ela, monna sea food market lo Dried fish ani adiga ,kani adu evadehe eedikem kavali annat choosadu.Nee valla malli adni adagalsina avsram ledu. Stomach ela clean chestaru naku ardam kaledu .Can I know in detail,cheelchala fish ni?

  2. Just call me Smitha :)
    Meeru ee country lo untaru?...
    well here in US, we get dried shrimp and dried fish in the chinese , cambodian, vietnamese grocers.
    Am not sure if they would have it in sea food market!
    Nettalu or dried fish are not difficult to clean but surely do take a long time since each and everyone...the head can be easily broken off and the stomach area can also be broken off, when u try one, u will get the hang of when its cleaned only the top bone, front area, after head/gill area removed and back tail will be left...
    if u look closely at the 4th picture, thats how they will look when cleaned...
    You don't have to use a knife, only hands...the head and stomach area can easily broken off by hand...these dried fish are smaller than ur index finger and very much thinner, as u see in the picture...
    Hope u understood! :))
    Let me know if u have any Questions!

  3. In US,
    I got it all right ,let me try the same.
    Sry i didnt preview my message earlier , Nee should be corrected to "MEE" :)


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