Monday, September 8, 2014

Indian Fish Achar (Pickle)


What to cook for the day, I tell you, is even worst than anything else. Even worst than forcing myself to sleep. Cooking by itself I think is not all that brain cracking, but prior to that, I am literally bouncing back and forth on what should I cook. Moreover, don't forget, we do have limitations. In my house, there is no, not at all any limit to fish, which in return puts me on a boundary as well (Fish In Chilli LimeFish Dhal Curry & Steamed Cod Fish). Fish again? Anytime? Thank god, fish can be any which way, as long as its fish, its food acceptance. No need for me to repeat my boring fish story, I must censor it (Radish Fish Curry, Assam Fish Curry & Thai Seabass Apple Salad), hopefully, I will not even speak any further about it in the near future, but there will be, no doubt, no short of fish recipes (Fish Coconut Stew) in this previous space of mine. Today's fish achar story is a different story compared to the previous Nyonya Fish Achar, regardless of the fact that the core ingredients are pretty much the same. Basically, fish soaking in a spicy sour vinaigrette (Salted Fish Pickle). Sourness of course is a favourite kick punch on my tongue, I think it is as well for most Malaysians? We just so love sourness. That's why, my food cooking, if not all, mostly consists of, at least a tiny tinge of sourness. Salads and what not (Vegetable Pickle, Lemon Rice, Pepper Tamarind Prawns, Ikan Bilis Belimbing, Assam Laksa & Raw Carrot Cucumber Salad). By the way, for your information, pickle is achar and vice-versa (Mango Chutney & Cucumber Carrot Achar) Plain simple and simply put. No need for us to get over the hill and be confused, okay? Now, lemme come back to the main highlight for the day, that being this recipe to Indian Fish Achar. Fish marinated with turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt, thereafter fried, and once the spicy sour vinaigrette is made, tip in fish, stir all and set aside. We are done darlings!

Ingredients
For fish
10 sardine fish - clean and cut into two 
1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp plain chilli powder
1/2 tsp crushed black pepper 
1/2 cup oil
Salt for taste
** Mix these ingredients together (except oil) and set aside for at least 1/2 hour

For gravy/vinaigrette 
1 inch ginger - slice thinly
10 pips garlic - remove skin and cut into two
10 small shallots - remove skin
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp plain chilli powder (or as needed)
(Note: mix turmeric powder and chilli powder with some water for a paste)
3 to 4 dried red chillies - cut into pieces
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
A pinch of asafetida powder
Vinegar - 1/2 cup
1 cup hot water
Sugar as needed 
4 sprigs curry leaves
Salt for taste
Method
In heated oil, fry curry leaves till crispy-crunchy, remove and keep aside.
In the same oil, nicely fry the fish, remove and keep aside.
Leave about 4 tbsp of oil in the same wok/pan.
Fry mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, dried chillies, ginger, garlic and shallots for just a minute or two. 
Add chilli powder and turmeric powder paste. 
Fry till aromatic, pour vinegar and water. 
Season with sugar and salt. 
Simmer till gravy is heated through.
Add fish and asafetida powder, stir to combine and off the heat.
Add fried curry leaves, stir, cover with a lid and let it sit for an hour. 
Then, achar is ready to be served or bottle up and keep in the fridge. 
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18 comments:

  1. i am sure achaar turned awesome
    i love the tangy flavour of achaar with some chaapaati :) this turned so great
    and u have a great collection of rasam n sambar recipes love

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  2. I have ate achar before, but not fish achar! This is new to me. so many variations!

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  3. my family loves chicken achar and fish one think will be even more good for them so i will pass on your recipe
    Keep in touch
    www.beingbeautifulandpretty.com
    www.indianbeautydiary.com

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  4. Oh I have enough water to run a boat fish pickle looks yummm. Each person gets one full fish pickled thats really nice.

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  5. Mouthwatering fish pickle... I'm drooling here.. Your collection of rasam is wonderful..

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  6. Your clicks and dishes make me regret that why I am vegetarian? Looks very tempting

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  7. Never knew the fish too can be pickled. looks perfectly made

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  8. Oh wow... I would love to make this replacing the sardine with some other fish... sounds so delicious...

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  9. Never had fish achar before...Love to try it on seeing your recipe & nice clicks...

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  10. Hi Nava, haven't try fish achar before but from your irresistible pics, I instantly know that this is sure very yummy and appetizing. Thanks for sharing and regards :)

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  11. I am not a fish fan but i wud share it wid my family n friends.. :)

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  12. Oh, your darling doesn't eat pork & chicken? Looks like you've to play with seafood!

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  13. With fish achar I have only tasted the bottled ones. I wonder why I didn't try making it myself. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Nava. And you're so right about incurring extra expenses. I checked my stock today and realized that some of the things I intended to cook with are still lying untouched. I really shouldn't be thinking of buying more stuff now...

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  14. oh gosh!!! my mouth is watering Nava ....my all time favorite pickle. thanks for the wonderful recipe and post..book marked!!!

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  15. Oh gosh!!! My mouth is watering Nava...my all time favorite pickle!!! Thanks for the wonderful recipe and post, bookmarked!!!

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  16. Sardines are not my favorite but your sauce looks so good I think I'll replace the fish :)

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