Wednesday, May 8, 2013

#278 Fish Pickle from the land of Coconut Palms

It's almost here....Mother's Day and we haven't had time to talk about the one special lady in our lives who has been the epitome of patience  while raising us?

Mother--- she wears multiple hats switching from one to the other within minutes- tantrums, school activities and trips to the doctor to teary-eyed graduations. The one person in our life who acts as nurturer, friend, protector and is the ultimate example of extreme strength.  If you ask the mother in me I'd say 'when my children smile there's sunshine in my home'!!  Although we do much for Mom throughout the year, Mother's day is in her honor and we owe it to her to put aside everything else for this beautiful day. I'm making something extra special to let her know she is loved!!!

 Fish Pickle---Mmmm. For those of you who dislike fish you  are bound to be squeamish or queasy about fish in vinegar. Would you believe me if I told you that this pickle is nothing like that nor are they like "dill pickles"? It is incredibly  flavorful and nothing 'fishy' about the taste.  In fact, this is my favorite pickle and a recipe from my heart- my Mother's of course! 

Although fish is extremely healthy and good for you, it is a tricky protein to buy. I've noticed that the feel and aroma of fish suggests how fresh it is. "Stay away from those with cloudy, red eyes", my grandma used to say. The best way to test fish is to turn over the bony part over the gills. If they look bright red it's good to go and lastly it should never smell fishy, instead it should smell of the ocean-salty fresh-- all tips from the experts. But it's not always that simple and easy to test out the fish before you buy it right?

But this is a spicy, well-loved pickle in my family for many years so it gives me great pleasure in sharing the treasured recipe for Mother's day. In honor of my Grandma and Amma--- Happy Mother's Day!!

 Any firm fish like King fish, shrimp, tuna or salmon can be used.

A few things to remember when you are ready to pickle:
  • Sterilize the glass jars in which you want to store the pickle
  • Get the freshest fleshy fish from the market (no frozen fish please)
  • Since it involves vinegar I will suggest that you stay away from using any pans that may react to vinegar.
  • Lastly, after storing them never use wet spoons!!Always store in fridge and use it within 2-3 weeks.

The method may be a little time consuming and requires time and patience so to make it easier on myself I prepare everything and set it up, before I start frying the fish.
    Measure the following and line them up:

1 lb Salmon filet
2 cups vinegar (white)
10 red chillies
10-12 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon Cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tspn mustard seeds
1 tspn turmeric powder
Salt and brown sugar to taste
1-2 cups oil for deep frying. (corn oil or vegetable oil)

So now, let's get to work:

1. Wash and remove the skin of the fish, Pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Cut the fish into 1/4 inch cubes carefully without breaking the pieces.
3. Marinate with the salt and turmeric.
4. Heat a deep wok with oil and when the oil is hot enough, drop the fish pieces gently
and fry until light brown in color and slightly crisp. Remove drain and keep aside.
5. Grind together the garlic, red chillies and roasted cumin into a very smooth paste using a little vinegar.
6. Heat Oil in  pan and when it is heated add mustard seeds and when they splutter,
add the chili paste and saute on low fire until the oil seperates out.
7. Add the rest of the ingredients except the fried fish.
8. Taste and season if needed, then bring to a quick boil and add fish peices,
remove from fire, stir and cool.
9. Allow the pickle to cool well before transferring to a sterlized glass jar/s.
10. Fresh prawns or Shrimp may be used instead of the fish too. In that case clean the shrimp and instead of deep frying them you may stir fry them before adding to the spice and vinegar.


  1. Looks absolutely delish! Drooling over here! :)

  2. Mouth watering ! Love ur recipe. First time at ur place & nice recipe collection u have

  3. Nice sharing, Malli! Sorry for not coming by earlier as I've been off blogging for the entire mth in April. I'm back & will be seeing u more :)


It’s always a pleasure to get feedback from all our readers. Please leave your name or contact info. Thanks for stopping by!

Print Friendly

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF