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Friday, March 01, 2019

Meen Achar | Fish Pickle (Step by Step Pics)

Fish pickle is a yummy delicacy that can be had with choodu choru(steamed rice). All the keralites who are away from home town would definitely love to carry this pickle in their packed luggages. This pickle can be preserved for a year. Though everyone at home loves fish pickle but I hardly make and preserve for a year as we do get fresh fish all throughout the year. I make small batches of this pickle which gets over in a week and my measures for the gravy of this pickle is not very watery too. If you wish to add more gravy to this pickle then add in water and vinegar. If you remember the chemmeen pickle posted long back which was made similarly and I made them using salad prawns. Any fresh and firm fish with a middle bone can be made as pickle. Usually I have seen my mom making pickle with tuna(choora). I have used velapara meen(don't know the english name of this fish) to make this pickle. The pickle can be served immediately after making but it tastes best on the third day of making when all the flavours are balanced, the gravy is absorbed and the fish is nice soft well coated with the gravy. Do try this out if you love pickles and if you eat fish. Check it out !!

Marination time ~ 1 hour
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ a small bowl
Author ~ Julie
for marination
*meen / any firm fish 500 gms
ginger-garlic paste 1 tbsp
* chilly powder/ mulaku podi 2 tsp
turmeric powder / manjal podi 1/2 tsp
lemon juice (1/2 of a big lemon) or 2 tsp
salt to taste

coconut oil to fry fish

for pickling
garlic  one handful sliced / 20 pods
ginger julienned(thin cut) 3 tbsp
green chillies sliced 4
curry leaves 2-3 sprig
kashmiri chilly powder 2-3 tbsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
fenugreek powder / uluva podi 1/2 tsp
asafoetida / kayam podi 1/2 tsp
gingelly oil / nallenna 3tbsp
vinegar 1/3 cup
water 1/2 cup
mustard seeds 3/4 tsp
fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp


  • Wash and cut the fishes in bite size pieces. Marinate the fish using the ingredients listed above for atleast an hour. The more the marination, the better the flavors seep in.
  • Add coconut oil in a kadai(wok) and add the marinated fish in batches( I have used very less oil as this oil can't be used for any other purpose and will have to be added to the pickle if its more. I just fried in less oil and so it took more batches to fry). Fry them till crisp, drain using a colander and place on a dry plate.

  • In another pan, add gingelly oil and splutter mustard seeds, followed by fenugreek seeds. Slide in the sliced ginger and garlic. Saute until it turns slightly browned and is crisp. Add in the green chillies and curry leaves. Saute for another minute and  then add in the turmeric powder(manjal podi), fenugreek powder(uluva podi) and asafoetida(kayam podi). 

  • Saute and then dissolve kashmiri chilly powder in 2 tbsp of water(prevents burning of chilly powder). Mix well without lumps and add to the pan. Add the fried fish oil too at this time (retains flavors, if you are not using this fried fish oil then you may have to add more gingelly oil than mentioned here in the recipe so that oil floats on top).Cook for 30 seconds until the oil starts floating on top. 

  • Now, add the vinegar mixed with another 2 tbsp of water. Add salt as needed. Bring to a boil and add the fried fish pieces. Cook for 5 minutes until the fried fish is coated well with the masala. Turn off heat and let it cool completely.

P.S:  As the pickle sits, the fish pieces absorbs the gravy and gets well coated with the fish. I have taken the pictures on the next day after making so you can see there is no gravy left out. If you want a gravy in this pickle, then go ahead and add 1/2 more cup of warm water to the pickle when you add the vinegar.

* You can use any large fish which are firm like tuna(choora), king fish(ayakoora), velapara. I have used velapara.
* You can even add vinegar to marinate. But I generally use lemon juice.
* Adding kashmiri chilly powder will give better colour to the pickle. You can use the hot chilly powder to marinate the fish and make pickle in kashmiri chilly powder.
* Add more water as needed to make the pickle gravy if you require that way. This way of making pickle hardly has any gravy on the third day after pickling.
* The pickle measures are given for making 500 gms of fish. You can easily double or triple the measures to make larger batches.
* The oil settles in the bottom of the bottle so its better to mix it thoroughly with a dry spoon frequently to prevent the pickle from getting spoiled.


Angie's Recipes said... Best Blogger Tips

This looks so appetizing and packed full of flavours!

Gloria Fernandes said... Best Blogger Tips

So very tempting

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Bookmarked. So wanna try this for a long time :)

Shobha said... Best Blogger Tips

How long does this pickle stay good ?

Julie said... Best Blogger Tips

This pickle stays good over a year .. provided we follow all incteuctuons of preventing any fungus formation by using dry spoon, oil floating on top and using air tight glass containers to store the pickle. If you wish to store longer then add warm gingelly oil on top of the pickle so that it remains as a good layer.

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

How can i preserve fish pickle for long time

Julie said... Best Blogger Tips

This pickle stays good over a year .. provided we follow all instructions of preventing any fungus formation by using dry spoon to stir the pickle, dry glass jar for storing the pickle. Make sure the oil floats on top of the pickle, you can cut a small muslin cloth about the size of the opening of the jar,place over the mouth of the pickle and then pour the oil over this. Keep adding warm gingelly oil on top of the pickle so that it remains as a good layer as long as you store. Also good salt content and vinegar in the pickle prevents pickle from spoiling, warm up vinegar and salt mixture and then pour over the pickle before storing long time. One last point is to use small glass jars to store pickle in batches and this helps prevent unnecessary handling of the entire batch of pickle. These are few points that you can try and hope it helps.