Meen Peera Recipe | Nethili Meen Avial Recipe

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Meen Peera


Meen Peera, also known as Nethili Meen Avial in some parts of South India & Kerala is a delicious fish preparation with coconut, chillies, shallots & spices. This delicious fish is made with anchovies(nethili), raw mango & coconut masala. Learn how to make Kerala style meen peera with step by step pictures and video.

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Nethili Meen Avial | Meen Peera

Meen peera is an easy recipe. It can be cooked in minutes, I mean it took me around 10 minutes to cook. Anchovies are tiny little fish that takes very less time to cook. This avial has so much flavour and taste amazing with steamed Kerala red rice. It has raw mangoes, which gives a tangy taste. The coconut masala is packed with chillies, cumin, pepper which adds wonderful aroma.

About Meen Peera (Nethili Avial)

Meen peera is a Kerala dish in which fish is cooked in a coconut masala. It is also known as fish peera, nethili avial, netholi avial, netholi peera. The fish used in this dish is nethili meen also known as netholi or anchovies. But you can use sardines, or any fish of choice.

The coconut masala is made with dry red chillies, coriander seeds, shallots, black pepper, cumin seeds and tamarind. This coconut is mixed with fish, raw mangoes and cooked in a clay pot. Raw mangoes adds so much taste to nethili meen, check my mangai nethili kuzhambu.

Since nethili or anchovies is very delicate in texture, it cooks faster. You should never mix the fish too much else it may break and disintegrate. So the key is to mix the masala into the fish raw and then cook on heat till done. In the end a good drizzle of coconut oil and fresh curry leaves is added for flavour and aroma.

Similar Fish Recipes,

Nethili Meen Curry

Anchovies Thokku

Nethili Meen Fry

Nethili Mangai Kuzhambu

Watch Fish Peera | Nethili Avial Video

Meen Peera Ingredients

nethili meen | anchoviesPin

Nethili (Anchovies) – Anchovies or nethili fish is tiny fish which is delicate. Don’t over mix or over cook, else it may fall apart and disintegrate. In this recipe, you can use any fish.

Raw Mango – use sour raw mangoes for best taste. Peel and slice then very thinly so it cooks faster along with the fish.

Coconut – you can use fresh or frozen coconut in this recipe.

Whole Spices – spices like pepper, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dry red chillies and shallots is used for grinding.

Curry Leaves – main ingredient which adds flavour to any fish dish also it removes the fishy smell.

Coconut Oil – anchovies is not so oily fish, so it needs a good amount of coconut oil to be drizzled in the end.

How to Clean Nethili Fish (Anchovies)

Anchovies are delicate little fish that takes very less time to clean. Unlike other fish you don’t have to peel the skin or remove scales. You need to gently pull the head and remove the innards.

I used small variety nethili fish (anchovies). You have to remove the head and guts (black innards) of the fish. It can be easily removed by gently twisting & pulling the fish head. Once it is cleaned, add it to an earthernware (clay pot) and rub gently to remove the silver scales. Wash it well in cold water. Strain in a colander and take it in a mud pot.

close shot of Meen Peera with curry leaves on topPin

How to Make Meen Peera (Stepwise Pictures)

Coconut Masala

1)take fresh coconut in a blender. I chopped coconut into chunks and added in a blender. You can use freshly grated coconut. Add in dry red chillies to your taste. You can add more or less as per your taste.

take coconut, add dry red chillies in a blenderPin

2)Add in coriander seeds, peeled garlic cloves into the blender.

add coriander seeds, garlic clovesPin

3)Add in whole black pepper, cumin seeds into the coconut.

add pepper and cumin in the blenderPin

4)Now add in turmeric powder and peeled chopped onions. You can use peeled shallots instead of onions too.

add turmeric and onionsPin

5)Grind the coconut mixture to a coarse paste without adding water. The mixture has to be coarsely ground.

grind coconut to a coarse mixPin

Cleaning Nethili Fish

6)I used small variety nethili fish (anchovies). You have to remove the head and guts (black innards) of the fish. It can be easily removed by gently twisting & pulling the fish head. Once it is cleaned, add it to an earthern ware pot and rub gently to remove the silver scales. Wash it well in cold water. Strain in a colander and take it in a mud pot.

take anchovies in a potPin

Mixing for Nethili Avial (peera)

7)Add in peeled and thinly sliced raw mango into the fish. The mango has to be sliced thinly because it has to be cooked at the same time of the fish is cooked.

add raw mangoes for making Meen Peera | Nethili Meen Avial Pin

8)Add in green chillies. I used the small variety of green chillies, so I added it whole. If you are using long green chillies, slit them lengthwise before using.

add green chillies to Meen Peera | Nethili Meen Avial RecipePin

9)Add in a handful of fresh curry leaves.

add curry leaves to the fishPin

10)Add in the freshly ground coconut masala.

add coconut paste to the fish for meen peeraPin

11)Add in tamarind paste and salt to the mixture.

add tamarind and saltPin

12)I added ¼ cup of water to the blender jar and swirled it around. Pour it back into the pot. Mix well.

pour in some water and mix wellPin

13)Now press the mixture into the pot gently.

press evenly in the pan.Pin

Cooking Nethili Avial (meen peera)

14)Place the pot on heat. Cover with lid. Now cook on high heat for 5 minutes.

place it on heat and cook covered for 5 minutesPin

15)The mixture will start to boil at this point like this.

now the fish is almost cookedPin

16)Now use a spoon or a fork to gently mix the avial mixture. Don’t mix too much, else the fish may break. Mix it gently.

mix gently using forkPin

17)Once the fish mixture is mixed gently, cover with lid again and cook on medium low heat for another 5 minutes.

cover and cook againPin

Meen Peera (Nethili Avial) Finishing Touches

18)Now the fish and raw mango will be cooked completely. Add a handful of curry leaves and a good amount of coconut oil into the avial.

add curry leaves and coconut oilPin

19)Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.

serve meen peeraPin

20)Serve with rice.

meen peera taste best with ricePin

Expert Tips

  • Nethili or anchovies are tiny delicate fish. Don’t over mix or over cook, else it may fall apart and disintegrate.
  • Mix the masala with the fish and then start cooking.
  • Coconut oil and curry leaves added in the end imparts so much flavour so don’t skip that step.
  • It is best to cook this in a clay pot, you can use any pot as you like. 
  • Slit drumsticks can be added in this dish too. 

More Fish Recipes

📖 Recipe Card

Meen Peera | Nethili Meen Avial Recipe | Fish with Coconut

Meen Peera, also known as Nethili Meen Avial in some parts of South India & Kerala is a delicious fish preparation with coconut, chillies, shallots & spices. This delicious fish is made with anchovies(nethili), raw mango & coconut masala. Learn how to make Kerala style meen peera with step by step pictures and video.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Calories: 263kcal

Instructions

  • Grind all the ingredients in the list to a coarse mixture. Don’t add water when grinding. The mixture has to be dry and coarsely crushed. Set aside.

  • Now take cleaned anchovies, sliced raw mango, slit green chillies, curry leaves, salt, tamarind paste in a kadai. Add the ground masala into the fish. Pour ¼ cup of water into the blender jar, swirl it around and add it into the fish.

  • Use your hands to mix the coconut masala well with the fish. Press the fish into the mud kadai. Now Cover with a lid and put it over heat. Let it cook for 5 minutes on high heat covered. After 5 minutes open the lid, the mixture will be boiling. Now use a fork to gently mix the fish, don’t mix too much else the fish will break. Once it is mixed gently, cover again and cook on medium heat for 5 more minutes.

  • Open the lid and check whether the fish is cooked. Turn off the heat, Now pour in coconut oil and a handful of curry leaves. Cover again and let it sit for 10 minutes.

  • Serve this with rice.

Notes

  • Nethili or anchovies are tiny delicate fish. Don’t over mix or over cook, else it may fall apart and disintegrate.
  • Mix the masala with the fish and then start cooking.
  • Coconut oil and curry leaves added in the end imparts so much flavour so don’t skip that step.
  • It is best to cook this in a clay pot, you can use any pot as you like. 
  • Slit drumsticks can be added in this dish too. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1servings | Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 75mg | Potassium: 392mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 111IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 3mg

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