Fish/Shrimp pickle (Kerala style) and a song

During my Engineering college days at Belgaum, we had a few senior students who were ultimate singers. Even though I don’t call myself as a music lover, I particularly liked the songs of one person. Some of us called him Junior S.P.Balasubramanium(a famous playback singer). After college, I heard from few common friends that he is taking his singing very seriously and working towards a career in it along with his job of software engineer. Since I didn’t know this person personally nor I had any kind of contact with him, I didn’t hear about him for couple of years.

Then one fine day, my husband V told me that he met Sunil Koshy in social networking site orkut. Apparently they knew each other well in college. They had met after a long time. I think V told him about my site and he sent me an email saying he liked it a lot. I can’t say how happy I was to get his feedback. We exchanged a few emails/chats. Well..the irony of whole situation is, I didn’t know he was from Kerala all this time. In the college, the most popular song he sung was “Karunada taayi sada chinmayee“(this is a Kannada song) and I never realized he didn’t know to speak Kannada.

Finally, after his all friends pushed him enough, he has started a music blog. I feel very honored to know such an amazing singer. If you are a music lover, watch out his blog. There are just couple of songs as of now, but he will update it soon.

Here is one song that I absolutely love. We wish him a very bright future. Please leave your feedback here or at his blog, let him know how you like the song. Thanks.

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He is a foodie and he said he will bring two of his favorite Kerala dishes for me from his mom. This is the first one he got for me. This is traditionally made with fish(I used catfish here, but I think traditionally it is made with King fish). I tried it many times, first time I made with shrimps and second time I made it with fish. Both were too good. It has become a regular at my home now. I make a big batch of it and refrigerate on weekends. During week days, when I am very tired to cook anything, I love to eat this with curd rice. Yumm…It has a very great aroma of curry leaves and ginger. Give it a try, it tastes great.

Here is the picture of fish version

1 lb cleaned shrimp or 1 lb fish cut into small pieces
2 tea spns chili powder
1/4 tea spn turmeric powder
2 tea spns + 1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
1/2 tea spn methi(fenugreek) seeds
1/8 tea spn asafoetida powder
2-3 green chilies
1 tbl spn ginger finely chopped
20-25 curry leaves
1 tbl spn vinegar

Apply chili powder, salt and turmeric to the fish/shrimps and keep it aside for about 15-30mins.

Then heat a little oil and fry till they are done. Keep them aside.

Heat a little oil and fry mustard seeds (2 tea spns) and methi seeds. Just before taking out of heat, add asafoetida. Grind them to make a powder.
Heat a little oil and add remaining mustard seeds. When they start popping, add chopped chilies, ginger and curry leaves. Fry for about a minute. (Sunil had mentioned adding chili powder again at this stage, which I ignored because I had already added a lot for marination).
Add the ground powder, vinegar and if required, some salt (be careful while adding salt since the shrimp/fish has it already). Mix and then add shrimp/fish and close the lid (I closed the lid to seal in all the flavors of curry leaves and ginger). After about a 1-2mins, take out the lid, mix well and take off heat.
Cool to room temperature and store in air tight container. It can be consumed immediately. I have refrigerated it upto 2 weeks and the taste went on increasing day by day (I think this remains good for a long time).

Preparation time : 30mins

PS: Make sure all the vessels that are used for making/storing this pickle and the mixer are completely dry. Any moisture spoils the pickle.

30 thoughts on “Fish/Shrimp pickle (Kerala style) and a song”

  1. Wow, shrimp looks delicious. Just curious, why is it a pickle and not a curry? Is it becoz it is dry and can be stored for long? Love your recipes always.

    Shipa: Yes, I think so.

  2. I am vegetarian, but your pictures and recipe looks great. I hardly look at the ingredients that go into a meat dish, but i did on this one, very very tasty, combination of methi, mustard and grinding them into a paste. reminds me of the proces of a pickle which my mom makes. It could very well sell as a shrimp pickle?

  3. heyyy shilpaaa
    thank u very much for this… i was just looking out for some typical southindian shrimps pickle… i will surely try this tommorw…
    thank u very muchhhh

  4. I was searching for a fish pickle recipe..will try this soon.
    Have u used frozen shrimp or fresh?

    Shilpa: SK, I used the frozen uncooked ones.

  5. Hey Shilpa, it is a new recipe for me, looks delicious. I have to learn Kerala recipes too from you now ๐Ÿ˜€
    Nice song btw, good luck to your friend.

  6. Hi Shilpa,
    Both the pickles look really good. I have a packet of pre-cooked cocktail shrimps – do you think this recipe will work with those?


    Shilpa: I think you can use them. Do not fry them for long because they might get rubbery.

  7. Shilpa
    Your blog is amazing & am still in complete awe of it!
    Thanks for posting the recipe, wish i cud get to to taste it :O)

    & thank you so much for the kind words that u have said about me :O)

  8. What a gorgeous voice he has! I wish I could do what he does at 00:28- great control and expression- ah, love… (but no, I don’t this language that he sings in… ๐Ÿ™‚ )
    The shrimp look divine Shilpa, and when you speak of these with curd-rice it makes me want to try them.

    Shilpa: Thanks for appreciating Sunil’s song Pel. Yes, he has great voice.
    I am sure you will love this pickle. The curry leaves and ginger makes it taste great.

  9. Shilpa,

    Your blog is one of the few websites I browse through often and I’ve tried quite a few recepies. I am so glad to see your post on the fish pickle. Living outside India, I have had the chance to sample it just once and have craved it ever since. I will definately try this out. Thank you!

  10. Nice recipe.I tried this with Tilapia.Mine tastes very good but it’s more like a fish fry as it’s very dry.Maybe I had to add some more vinegar to get the pickle taste??In your pic it doesn’t look like you have fried fish completely.Do we have to take it out before fish turns brown?Will try with shrimp too.

    Shilpa: Sk, this pickle does not have a very runny masala. You can increase the amount of spices(mustard & methi) to get a thick masala. The fish/shrimp needs to be fried just till they are done. No need to make them brown. Remember after you add the fish/shrimp to cooked masala, it gets cooked again in the heat.

  11. Hi shilpa,
    I love this pickle you have made and I will be making it soon. Since my husband is allergic to shell fish, I will be trying it with catfish or king fish.

  12. Dear Shilpa I’m going to try the pickle strange as a Keralite I never knew this one. loved Sunil Kosh y’s song too. Wish him all success. Love your website too

  13. Shilpa Bhandarkar

    Hey Shilpa..

    Do u have any fried prawns recipe….like say rawa fried prawn or some masala fired prawn recipe…etc???

    I love fried prawns….

    Sorry for not posting this request on recipe request page…
    Was finding some problem trying to open that page….error…page not found…. ๐Ÿ™
    Anyway, Please treat this as a recipe request.

    Shilpa. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Shilpa: Shilpa, I removed the recipe request page because I could not handle so many requests :(. I have one fried prawn in my drafts. Will post it soon.

  14. Hi Shilpa,
    I tried out this recipe today…i turned out very well..
    However,when i fried the prawns together, it oozed out lot of water…what did u do with excess water….i didnt feel like discarding it so i retained it….may be i cant preserve it for a long time….
    Thanks for posting a nice recipe,

    Shilpa:Namrata, did you use frozen prawns? If you feel they have too much water, squeeze them to remove excess water before adding to the dish. I just let it cook on high flame for couple of mins till all the water evaporated.

  15. shilpa, i did defrost the prawns for around 1 hour…anyways, next time ill see to it that the water is evaporated completely….thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. thanks a lot for this reciepe.

    i have tried this once with a particular fish here.cant remeber what fish. but while i fried it they stated to break away. secondly, as ur friend said about the putting chilli powder the second time, it does work out. but it is preffered to be put as the last ingredient in the process of doing this coz, otherwise it turns black. thats what happened with me. and i truly agree the curry leaves gives and yummy taste and a gr8 aroma.

    tank you once again..its just motivated me to try again

  17. Hey,
    i am a second generation Malayali, based in Srilanka[ Colombo]
    i usualy go through the web to down load a kerala recipe since kerala food is not available in any Resturant here i have tried two of your recipies and it turn out to be very tasty
    try to give some more famous kerala fish and meat pickles so i can bottle it and enjoy it i remember my father [a typical kainakery [kuttanadu] man] used to fondly remember his mothers fish pickles when i was a small boy

  18. Today when my papa told me that once he had shrimp pickle offered by his old friend..i thought of search about the same and finally stop to this recipe…Now i can prepare and give him a surprise…Thanks……..

  19. Dear Shilpa,

    I’m enjoying listening to this beautiful song, and for sure the recipe looks yummmmmmmmmy. I’m going to try this for sure, good luck to ur friend.


  20. WOW! The song singer and the music is great!. just listening to it and reading your recipe make me think I am enjoying this fantastic dish in a top notch revolving restaurant, looking out at the panoramic city view and in the background this fantastic piece of music is playing.
    Just perfect

  21. Dear Shilpa,

    Happy raksha bandan & independence day in advance…
    I hv been reading ur blog often and i find it very interesting.
    though i hv tried only few dishes..i am happy with it. It matches
    with my taste a lot..

    good job…


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