Friday, March 02, 2012

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


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fish pickle

Fish pickle recipe, how to make Kerala fish pickle with step by step pictures.

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.
fish pickle 1



How to make fish pickle, step by step 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....

Some more pickle recipes:
Kerala Lemon Pickle
White Lemon Pickle

Kerala Fish Pickle | Meen Achar


PREP TIME: 15 mins    |  COOK TIME: 15 mins    |  AUTHOR::
  fish pickle  

  INGREDIENTS

  • TO MARINATE THE FISH:
  • Fish: 1/2 kg, cut into small pieces
  • Kashmiri chilli powder: 1 tsp
  • Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Organic turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp
  • Gingelly oil to fry
  • TO ROAST AND GRIND:
  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera (cumin seeds): 1/4 tsp
  • Uluva or Fenugreek (methi) seeds: 1/4 tsp
  • TO MAKE FISH 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
  • Extra salt as needed.


  METHOD:

  1. 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.
  2. Marinate them with 1 tsp Kashmiri 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 mins
  3. Slice garlic, ginger and green chilies and keep aside.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. Add the garlic, ginger, green chilies, and curry leaves if you have them. Allow them to brown a little with the gas on low flame.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Add in the crispy fried fish. Mix well.
  10. Roast and grind 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp jeera seeds, and 1/4 tsp of fenugreek seeds
  11. Sprinkle them on top of the fish pickle, mix well. Well cooled bottle and store. Easy fish pickle is ready.

NOTES

  • Gingelly oil is most suitable for pickle.
  • Fish should be fried until crisp; the idea is to remove the moisture from the fish so that the fish pickle will keep good for some days.
  • note 3
  • note 4
  • note 5

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