Tuesday, 4 February 2014

I believe there is no introduction needed for this recipe, as anyone from any region in India knows how good the fish pickle made in Kerala. My amma use to make fish pickle out of mathi (sardine) or by chura (Tuna).I prefer making it in Sardine as it is rich in vitamins and minerals however in Tuna, its high in the mercury content. You could make it in any fish of your choice. The making of meen achar is very simple but you have to be very careful while making the choice of the fish that you gonna make with, as it should thick and should not get smudged when you cut them into small pieces. Some makes it by just cutting it to small pieces and others remove the bones in it.Even if you use with the bones will not harm you as we gonna deep fry the fish pieces, hence the bones will not hurt you when you have it.

Once you make it, store in a ceramic or glass air tight container as my amma stores it in “bharani” and care should be taken every time you use it, as it may get spoiled if you are using a wet spoon. If used properly you can keep it for more than a month also. Meen achar are very tasteful to have with any rice variety or chappathi. Its spicy and absolutely tasty and I bet you will make it often at your kitchen. Here you go with the making.


To Marinate:

  • Sardines- 1 Lb/ ½ Kg (Cut into small pieces, Removing the bones is preferable or its optional)
  • Kashmiri Chilli Powder- 1 Tspn
  • Uluva podi (Fenugreek seeds powder) – 1/4 Tspn
  • Kaaya podi (Asafoetida powder)- ½ Tspn
  • Turmeric Powder- ½ Tspn
  • Pepper powder- 2 Tspn
  • Roasted Curry Leaves- Few
  • Salt- To Taste
To make gravy:
  • Vinegar- ½ Cup and 2 Tspn as separate
  • Kashmiri Chilli Powder- 3 Tspn
  • Ginger and garlic – half cup sliced
  • Mustard Seeds- 1 Tspn
  • Gingely Oil- ½ Cup
  • Cumin seeds- ¼ Tspn
  • Green chilies- 5 Nos(sliced lengthy)
  • Water- ½ Cup
  • Fresh Curry Leaves-Few


  • Marinate the fish with all the ingredients under to marinate and keep for at least 1 ½ hours in refrigerator.
  • Make a paste of the 2 tspn of vinegar and the Kashmiri chili powder(3 Tspn) and keep aside.Add water if needed.
  • In a pan, pour the oil, when it heats up add the marinated fish and deep fry until it turns little crisp,transfer to a paper towel and keep aside.
  • In a separate pan, pour the fish roasted oil, when it heats up add the mustard,curry leaves,ginger,garlic,green chilies and curry leaves and fry for a minute.
  • Add the prepared paste to this and stir well for 2 minutes until the masala smell goes from it.
  • Add the ½ cup of vinegar and water and let it boil for 10 minutes until it turns thick.
  • Add the fried fish pieces to it and stir well again to combine everything and add kaya podi(asafetida) at the end.
  • Switch off the stove,let it turn cool and transfer to the air tight ceramic/glass container.


"Always keep the flame as medium low and care should be taken as it should not burnt at the bottom or middle.

Adjust the chili powder as per your spicy level.

If you feel there should be little bitterer taste needed, add some more vinegar at the end and stir again.

Cook in the stove until the desired gravy is desired, as some may like the gravy in it. I dried up everything as I needed as thick.

As mentioned at the beginning store in a clean ceramic/ glass container which preserves the pickle for longer time."


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  1. Wow! Its mouth watering.. Loving your dishes bookmarking your page :) Thanks for the recipe and the pics are awesome as always..

  2. Looks yummmm !!! must give it a try !!!

  3. Thanks moly. Glad you liked it,do try and let me know .. :)

  4. Thanks minu for the yummy and mouth watering recipe. I tried this recipe today. Thank u once again

  5. Thanks for trying out.. Glad you liked it, please do visit often and post your valuable comments :)

  6. Thank you minu chechi