Monday, November 8, 2010

#7 Dried Anchovies Thoran

Anchovies Thoran is a common side dish made by my Paternal grandmother and I dedicate this recipe in memory of Lekshmikutty Thampi and her culinary skills. She passed away about 30 years ago but I
still remember the taste of her dried fish thoran.  Anchovies are easily found at any Asian Market.  I have one in my neighborhood, which I  frequently visit.  Although I am not a fan of dried fish, I did come up with this modification of my grandma's recipe because of a desire for it. This recipe is meant only for those of you  with an acquired taste for both Anchovies and spicy food together. As a word of warning either you love this dish or you hate it.

Dried Anchovies- 3/4 lb
Shallots- 2 lbs chopped (red onions can also be used but shallots give the authentic taste to this dish)
Green Chillies- 6 chopped
Ginger- 3 inch square finely diced
Curry Leaves- 4 sprigs
Chilli powder- 1 Tblspn
Pepper powder-1 tspn
Coriander Powder- 1 tspn
Haldi-1 tspn
Kodampuli(Kokum)- 3 pieces.
Methi seeds, dried red chilli and mustard for tempering
Lime juice- 1 lime.
Oil as needed.

1. Soak the Achovies in warm water and keep for at least 8 hrs or until they turn soft. Clean the heads off and stomach if needed.
2. Wash thoroughly but gently by changing the water three times to wash off extra salt or sand in the fish.
3. Drain the fish and squeeze out most of the water. Keep aside. Soak Kokum in 4 Tblspn water for 15 mins.
4. Place a wok on the fire and add about 4 Tblspn of Oil. When it is warm, add tempering ingredients.
5. When the tempering has sizzled down, add chopped shallots, 3 sprigs curry leaves, ginger, garlic and green chillies.
6. Saute for some time on slow fire until the shallots are cooked.
7. Add the Anchovies, chilli, pepper, haldi and coriander powder and the chopped Kokum pieces.
8. Add enough salt and the water that was used to soak the Kokum pieces. Add 1/2 cup of water, cover the pan and let it cook on a low fire.
9. After the flavor is soaked up by the fish,  test to make sure fish is cooked and soft enough but not mushy.
10. Add some extra oil and 1 sprig curry leaves at the end and stir well before serving.

The most exhausting thing in life is being insincere.  ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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