Nethili Sambal / Ikan Bilis Sambal

Following the Sambal Chilli ,it's time to let out one of most (who likes dry fish at first) wanted dish Ikan Bilis Sambal aka nethili sambal. It's really simple when you've already made the sambal paste. Yes,u can totally make the dish in just 15 minutes. Take a look @ my sambal chilli post for further assistance. Help yourself..Dig in..

                                                                                 Pulsed version of Nethili Sambal

Ingredients :
Dry anchovies /Nethili Karuvadu / Ikan Bilis -- 1 cup, cleaned and dried
Sambal chilli -- 1 cup
Onion -- 2 no. big and sliced thinly
Tamarind pulp -- 1 tbsp , very thick
Jaggery -- 1 tsp,optional
Oil -- as needed

                                                                                           Whole version of Nethili Sambal

  • Clean the dry anchovies and soak them in water for 5 minutes. Wash thoroughly and dry them on a paper towel. Dry them outside probably under the sun till it turns dry.( In US, there was no need for me to do all this steps as it was very clean and to my surprise there was no salt added to anchovies for preserving and so I had to add salt while cooking) 
  • Heat a small quantity of oil and deep fry the dry fish in batches till they get half cooked. Always do in batches as we use small quantity of oil.
  • When done, collect all the fried anchovies in a small plate. Pulse the fried anchovies in the mixie to pieces. ( U may also add as whole) And now add the sliced onion to the remaining oil and saute till they translucent .
  • Dump in the already fried anchovies now and blend well.Slowly add in the sambal chilli paste to the mixture and mix everything altogether.
  • U may add a couple of tablespoon of water now along with tamarind pulp and jaggery and combine well.
  • Cover and cook in the medium low flame for 5 to 7 minutes.Switch off and let it cool for couple of minutes and relish..

  • U may skip the frying part of anchovies and add directly to the dish after sauteing onion and proceed with the remaining steps. Then u might require only 1 tbsp of oil.
  • But if u prefer frying, pulse the fried anchovies and give it a try..It tastes OSM.


  1. Looks like delicious meal, awesome preparation.

  2. Machi kalakkure.looks to us.

  3. wow!...all nethali...I like this a lot....eaten it couple of times!

  4. Tempting preparation...Love this fish its awesome in any form..fry, curry...

  5. Mouthwatering...nice clicks too..

  6. Slurp, breath taking pictures Shobana, cant take my eyes from ur delicious nethili sambal.

  7. Drooling,sure must have tasted awesome,thanks for sharing.

  8. delicious...happy to follow ur blog

  9. Even I am not a non veg eater.. I m drooling here..may be due bright red sambal. Lovely presentation..

  10. I could try this recipe with 'bombil' as called in marathi :). It looks so tempting, like the whole version!

  11. sooper mouthwatery dish...can have at any time..:P
    Tasty Appetite

  12. wow very tempting recipe dear,pls pass the plate...

  13. need 1 ton saltless raw nethili karuvadu




Meet the author

My Photo
Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A cool chatter box who always bugs everyone around & a good friend who stepped into a new world called BLOGGING..