Saturday, November 23, 2013

Peggy's Fish Pickle



"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook."
~Julia Child

I was in seventh heaven when I discovered a precious piece of paper, actually a whole type written page with my mother's famous Fish Pickle and Meat Pickle recipes, among my original documents. I thought I had lost it, or left it with all my recipe books back in India. It brought back memories. This yellowed, cracking, thin sheet with it's recipes typed by mummy on her old typewriter, was indeed a labour of love. It had to be either that or extreme patience! I'd like to believe it was patient love...patience with me and her love of cooking and sharing her recipes!!This must be the third sheet, delivered by post to me in Rajasthan, after I lost or misplaced the ones she had given me earlier. That's about thirty three years ago! I have been making these pickles her way and though the internet has an overload of fish pickle recipes, none can match mum's Fish Pickle as far as I'm concerned. But then I am biased here and can be forgiven for that! So here is how it's done...simple, easy and mouth watering good.




Ingredients

Fish, Surmai aka Seer fish/King fish....................1kg, boneless (only fish that has firm flesh should be used. Or it will break up)
Red chilli pwdr.....................................................2 tsps.
Turmeric..............................................................2 tsps.
Mustard seeds (black)..........................................1 tsp
Methee seeds (fenugreek)....................................1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds (zeera)............................................1 tsp
Garlic..................................................................1 whole pod, makes about 3 tbsps. finely chopped
Ginger.................................................................2" pc, makes abt 1 n 1/2 tbsps. finely chopped
Green chilli.........................................................3-4, or acc to taste
Vinegar...............................................................1/2 small bottle. abt 1-2 cups. go by taste.
Mustard oil.........................................................1/2-3/4 kg. Just make sure the fish is covered with oil
Onion.................................................................3-4 large ones
Curry leaves.......................................................5-6, fresh or dry
Salt to taste

Note: You can use any refined oil if you don't have mustard oil. However mustard adds to the flavour!


Wash the fish fillets and cut into bite sized pieces or as desired. Apply salt, turmeric and chilli pwdr. Rub into the fish and allow to stand for about 10 minutes.
In the meantime dry roast the mustard, methi and zeera on a tawa (griddle) slightly. Don't brown it too much. Powder in a mixer.
Grate the onions. Alternatively you could chop them fine and blitz a couple of times. It should not be a paste.
Chop ginger, garlic and green chillies finely.
Heat the mustard oil well. Fry the fish and keep aside.
In the same oil, add more if required and heat well, put in the onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies.
Fry, stirring from time to time, until the onions turn a light brown. Reduce heat.
Add the powdered masala. If curry leaves are available, add these too.
Now pour in the vinegar, a cup first. Add more acc to how tangy you want it.
Add salt to taste. Remember there's salt in the fish too. Stir well. Raise heat to medium.
Allow masala to boil for a minute or so.
Put in the fried fish and gently mix it into the masala.
Keep on fire for a couple of minutes. Check for salt.
Remove and let it cool completely. Bottle it. Since no preservative is added it would be better to keep it in the fridge if the temperature is above 17 degrees.
Do not use a wet spoon, or pick a piece with bare hands.

This goes very well as an accompaniment with dal and rice or just parathas and fish pickle. I even like it solo....just as it is!

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2 comments:

  1. Rarely this type of blogs are found with a great information.I would love to suggest people to read your blog and share the information. You want to Enjoy tasty home made pickle India ? Now you can Buy pickles directly from India’s favorite traditional pickle makers right from the comfort of your home.buy indian pickles online

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for the appreciation Picklemasti. However I do not sell pickle online. I visited your page and really liked the variety and array of pickle recipes!

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