Goan Style Velli Hooman | Anchovy Gravy | Goan Fish Curry

In Goa we have fish curry every other day except on Monday, Thursday and on other auspicious days. Fish curry and rice along with fried fish is what 90% of the Goans love, remaining 10% will be the vegetarians. Out of all the different types of fish, I love the smallest fish that is Anchovy known as "Velli" in Goa. Every fish has a unique taste. The Anchovy curry and fried Anchovy really tastes yummy. Anchovy is one of the cleanest fish. In Goa, Anchovy curry is normally cooked with a mild flavour. Normally pregnant and nursing mothers eat this curry in Goa as Anchovy fish hardly has any mercury and is easy to digest.

I love to cook and eat fish. I never clean the fish. If I try to clean fish, I will stop eating the fish and turn into a vegetarian as I can't bear the smell of raw fish :D I tell my hubby to get cleaned fish. We can never get cleaned Anchovies from the fish market or the local grocery stores. So the task of cleaning the Anchovies goes to my hubby now. Before my maid used to do this. Once the head and scales are removed from the fish, my task of washing with water and marination starts. Once marinated you can store this in the freezer for upto 7 days and eat as and when needed.

15-20 Anchovy /Velli fish

For Gravy:
1/2 cup grated coconut(coconut of small size)
1 marble sized ball of tamarind
1 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 dry red chillies / byadgi chillies / shepda in Konkani
5 peppercorns
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 chopped onion
1 tsp oil

For marinating the fish:
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1/2 tablespoon chilly powder
1 tsp salt


For marination:
Clean the fish and cut the heads off. You can easy cut them with a pair of scissors. Remove the scales of the fish and wash them.
Apply the turmeric powder, chilly powder and salt. Leave this for minimum 30 Min's.
If you want to marinate for longer time, then keep the marinated fish in refrigerator.

For the gravy:
Grind, grated coconut, turmeric powder,tamarind,peppercorns,coriander and red chillies.
In an aluminium bowl, pour in the gravy and stir. Add water 1/2 cup.
Put the fish and cook on a medium flame for 2 Min's.

Now add the grated gravy. If needed add 1/2 cup water.
Let it get cooked for 10 Min's.
Switch of the gas.
Now in a tadka pan, add oil preferably coconut oil. Once the oil gets heated add chopped onion and fry till it gets burnt. After this gets burnt, give a tadka of burnt onion to the gravy and close the lid.
Add salt to taste. Remember that the fish was marinated with salt. So add only 1/2 tsp salt first. Taste and add more if needed.

Note: The gravy should neither be too thick nor too thin.

Done! Serve it with rice and fried fish and enjoy the rich and authentic Fish Curry Rice from Goa :)

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