Friday, March 02, 2012

Kerala Fish Pickle/Meen Achar....step by step


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Yay!! 200 followers....thankyou all for the support and for the inspirations.

We abstain from fish and meat during lent......until Easter. I made this fish pickle a few days ago and could not post it right away. Fish pickle is something which amma used to make right from as long as I can remember. She used to send it to my hostel, and I remember my friends used to devour it right from the old Horlicks bottle and they used to spread it on bread slices.....one bottle will be over by 10 min...



Fish pickle can be made with sardine, butter fish (moda), seer fish, prawns, anchovies, promphret....except mackerel. Fish has to be marinated with red chilly powder, salt, and pepper powder; then deep fried preferably in gingelly oil; why the frying???..well it is to remove any moisture in the fish....so we need to fry the fish till it is very crispy....I love adding lots of garlic in my pickle, someone once told me that garlic is good for cholesterol so I add a bit too much, if you are not that garlicy you can reduce it by half, and oh! let me remind you again that I use Kashmiri red chilly powder, it has very little heat but very vibrant colour. I do not buy red chilly powder from store....I buy whole red chilly and and sun dry it for one day and give it to the local mill to powder it.If you are using ordinary red chilly powder, reduce by half of the given measurement.

A roasted spice mix makes this fish pickle very unique, flavourfull, and aromatic.....amma's secret tip.

Ingredients:
To marinate the fish
Fish: 1/2 kg, cut into small pieces.
Chilly powder: 1 tsp.
Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Salt.
Gingelly oil to fry.

To roast and grind:
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Jeera: 1/4 tsp.
Fenugreek seeds: 1/4 tsp.
Salt: 1 tsp.

For the pickle gravy:
Gingelly oil: 1/4 cup.
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Fenugreek seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Ginger: 1 inch piece, thinly sliced.
Garlic: 2 pods, thinly sliced.
Green chillies: 2, slit.(optional).
Sugar: 1 tsp.
Kashmiri chilly powder: 4 tsp.
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp.
Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp.
Vinegar: 1/4 to 1/2 cup.

Method:
You need about half kg of fish cut into cubes, I used sardines this time...but you can use any of the fish mentioned above.


 Marinate them with 1 tsp red chilly powder, (remember I use Kashmiri chilly powder and it does not have much heat, if using ordinary chilly powder reduce by half and I guess you have to use a bit of red colour also) 1/2 tsp pepper powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, and salt.

 Keep aside for 15 min.

 Meanwhile lets move on to the other ingredients.

Remove garlic skin...

And slice them....

Now heat little oil and lets fry the fish......the fried fish should be crisp...this is to remove the moisture in the fish, so that the pickle will keep for long.

In another hot kadai, put in 1/4 cup of gingelly oil, add mustard seeds, and fenugreek seeds allow it to crack, if you have curry leaves you can use them....


Add the garlic and ginger...and curry leaves if you have them. Allow them to brown a little with the gas on low flame.

Add 4 tsp of chilly powder, 1/2 tsp of pepper powder, 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder, and salt.

Fry this lightly on low flame till the raw smell goes.....taking care not to burn it.

Add 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1 tsp of salt, sugar....if you feel you need more sourness you can just boil vinegar allow it cool and add to the pickle.

Add in the crispy fried fish...mix well.

Now the roast masala....for that extra spicy aromatic flavor....ammas tip!!....roast 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp jeera seeds, and 1/4 tsp of fenugreek seeds.

Pound on them.....they should be coarse.

Sprinkle them over the pickle.....and mix them well.....bottle them....this should keep for more than a week at room temp....or you can put them in the fridge to be on the safer side.....and it will keep for months....no worries.

Have them with bread, buns, rotis, naans, steaming hot rice or kanji.....or just about anything....

Enjoy!!!

62 comments:

  1. Droolworthy Fish Pickle Dear.Great recipe. Will try it soon.

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  2. i just made tuna pickle yest and its ready as draft...loved that u made it with sardines...will surely try it

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  3. ummm I am licking my fingers after seeing these pictures virtually.. What a treat !


    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

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  4. lovely fish pickle!.nice tip...moms always know best!

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  5. Pickle with fish is such a nice idea..yum

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  6. This looks absolutely yummy..I should try this soon...Bookmarking this one..

    Aarthi
    http://www.yummytummyaarthi.com/

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  7. fish pickle reminds me of my hostel days too...i too love lots of garlic in fish and prawn pickle...ive had many types of fish pickle, but not sardines yet. i think i should give this a try

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  8. one of my favorites....nisa have u tried with natholi....

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    1. Hi Mohana Aunty, yes I have tried it with Natholi (anchovies)and it is equally good!!

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  9. wow!! fish pickle!! hv heard of it but never thought it would be so easy to make it at home!!

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    1. Yes Khushi it is that simple to make....and homemade is the best!!

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  10. It's an awesome paragraph for all the online users; they will get benefit from it I am sure.
    Also visit my website ... Fish Oil

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  11. its awesome i tried it its coooooll..........

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    1. Fabualous-thank u for the feedback :)

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  12. Which fish is best suited for making pickles? I love fish pickles but I have never made them myself...gonna try your way...it looks delicious

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    1. Hey, please see the 3rd para for your query.

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  13. Its great i like it
    and i made it

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    1. Hi Anon-thanks for the feedback :)

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  14. What i liked the most, you are not just sharing the recipe,but actually like a complete tutorial with pics.
    Thanks a lot!

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    1. Binny-Yes ...a complete tutorial is my way of sharing ;)

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  15. thank u for your nice and easy steps to make Fish pickle.

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  16. How long does the pickle stay good?i mean how long can i eat it if i make in large batch.

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    1. Hi, thanks for the visit..the pickle should stay for 3 weeks on room temp and longer in fridge. Be careful when pickling, no water should come in contact and the fish should be fried thoroughly and bottle should be sun dried and clean and oil should be gingelly... I hope this helps.

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  17. I tried this but it, was blackish brownbut it tastes good thanks for the recipe.

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  18. Hello Nisa.. Thanks a ton for this recipe.. I got it at the right time.. was about to make tuna fish pickle tonight. Very impressed with the simple narration of steps and the pics with good details. It is going to help me a lot. Hey.. do u also have beef pickle recipe. If u have already posted, will be great if u could provide the link to it.

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    1. Nidhu-Thanks for the visit and for lovely thought...I haven't posted beef pickles yet...I follow an old recipe of my amma, but its been a long time since i pickled beef...will surely keep your request in mind...still if you need the recipe do mail me your email address, I will be more than happy to share the recipe with you...you can use the contact form above on the left side to mail your email id...thanks keep visiting.

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  19. Hi Nisha,tried the pickle with shark,its yummy..thanks for starting this blog,I am trying your recipes one by one :) Jayasree

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  20. Hi Nisha i would like the pickle to be not so dry a little more moist what do i do for that please suggest.

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    1. Hi Anon-Thank u for the visit....about your query- to make the pickle a little moist/gravy, you just have to boil 1/4 -1/2 cup of water with vinegar (simmer for 5 min) and then add it to the pickle when you are instructed to add vinegar....but please note that the pickle will tend to go stale very fast when you add water...so you will have to refrigerate it from day one...hope this helps....happy cooking.

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  21. Hi Nisha,Iwould like the pickle to be not so dry What do i do then.

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  22. Tried ur fish pickle and it came out great ...

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  23. Hi Nisa

    I am Nisha pillai :) . Your recipe came out so well . Thanks a ton. I am pregnant now and craving for yummy pickles. Tried it with sardines itself and it came out so well.

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    1. Hi Nisah Pillai, thanks a ton for the feedback....enjoy your pregnancy :)

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  24. Hi Nisha

    I am Nisha pillai :) Your recipe came out so well. Thanks a ton. I am pregnant now and craving for yummy pickles. Tried with sardines itself and it came so well. Tastyyy :)

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  25. Hi Nisa, Any reason why mackerel is not used for making pickle.

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    1. Anon-Hi, thanks for stopping by...about your query, there is no special reason for not using mackerel, this is amma's recipe handed down from her mom (sort of a family recipe); amma always states that mackerel is not used for pickles....I really don't know if there is any particular reason other than the taste....since I have not tried it yet...I am not so sure...but hey, you can give it a try ....but do give me a shout out too....

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    2. Yes Nisa, will try out with mackerels and give you a feedback. Not that I have any special love for mackerel vis-a-vis the other fish mentioned in your blog !! Its just that, the day before, we went to sea shore where fish was auctioned off and in the spur of the moment bought quite a large amount of mackerels along with neymeen !! Fried some, curried some and grilled some...but there still some remaining !!Moreover, am going to try this for the first time and should something go wrong, I do not want to take a risk with neymeen which is really expensive :)

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    3. Nisa, made the pickle using mackerel and should say that it turned out good as far as taste is concerned. Also I think I found out why your amma does not use mackerel for pickles. I think it has to do with piecing up mackerel to pickle sized pieces. While smaller fishes like sardines can just be segmented and larger sized fishes like neymeen and tuna can be filleted and cut into pickle sized pieces, with mackerel it is a different story. Cutting it to boneless pickle sized pieces is rather cumbersome. Segmentation does not work since the pieces are still large and filleting makes the fish crumble. Even piecing after frying , to get out the bones is difficult. This might be the reason why amma precludes using mackerel in pickles. Other wise tastewise, it is as good as any other fish I think.

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    4. Anon-----Thank u so much for the feedback, this sure will help other readers too....and I so glad that it turned out as you expected and u enjoyed it.....so next pickling time will be mackerel for me...will surely update amma also...thank again and keep connected.

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  26. Wow.. superb tasty pickle.. thanks for sharing akka.

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  27. my son too likes prawns pickle. i am going to try this. thanks Nisa - Daisy

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  28. hay lovely recipe aunty

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  29. thnks.......... anyway im going to prepare it for the first time

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  30. Please include Malayalam word for your ingredients ..way you present is nice
    Please include separate section for Malabar dishes

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    1. Nahas, thank you for stopping by :) if there is any doubts, you can contact me by commenting or by mail...I will definitely think about Malabar dishes!!

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  31. Thanks for the recipe ...I tried with sardines and got applause from my wife and friends...Infact I don't like curries made out of sardine but the pickle was indeed a different one...i emptied half of the bottle myself...next I would like to try with prawns, mussels , anchovy etc.. I think the steps are the same ,

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    1. Hi Srijith, yes the steps are the same, so glad that you enjoyed the pickle...and you have one lucky wife...thanks for stopping by and for the amazing feefback!!

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  32. i made this out with sardine fish... super like.... grand success... never expected this quality of pickle from sardine... it s awesome... next trials with tuna or so... i jst wanna thank u for being so dear like a friend in need....

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    1. I am so glad it came out perfect for you!! thanks for stopping by with the feedback :)

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  33. u have mentioned about a teaspoon of sugar in the ingredients list but not in the making steps. where to add that??

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    1. Thanks for pointing it out; updated!

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  34. what is the purpose of adding sugar?

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    1. Nisa do you have your meat/beef pickle recipe... pls give the link

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    2. No, I have not posted it yet...hoping to share it soon.

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  35. Sugar gives a twist to the taste. It tastes better even though you do not actually feel the sweetness directly.

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