Fish pickle / Meen achar – Kerala style / Spicy pickled Cod

Fish pickle is a delicacy made with any type of fish,dried or fried.A treasure hostelites bring in bulk and savor as a lifeline until they get some home cooked  food.

The fish matures in vinegar ,salt and spices binds it completely.When the acids kick in, the fish just shreds in your mouth with a burst of flavors ahhh! I can’t explain in words.If u are drooling like me and want to just try a piece of fish pickle… I tell you it is such an easy recipe anyone who can fry fish can make it.

I have used Cod fillets .Oh! about the heat of the pickle,  it comes from pepper, green chili,ginger and whole chili. Using kashmiri chili powder will give it the much needed color but I skipped it.


Fish-3 fillets (any fleshy fish,I have used cod here)
Ginger- 3-4 inch thick piece
Garlic- 8 to 10
Green chili-3
Chili powder- 1 tsp + 1 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp
Pepper powder-1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds powdered-1/2 tsp
Asafoetida- a pinch
Sesame oil / Gingely oil-2 tbsp (optional)
Vinegar -1/3 cup
Boiled water- 3/4 cup
Mustard,whole red chili -2 and curry leaves to season
Salt to taste


1.Cut the cleaned fish into small pieces marinate it with chili powder,turmeric powder and salt.Keep it aside for a hour.
2.Coarsely grind ginger, garlic and green chili .

3. Heat veg oil in a pan and deep fry the fish pieces in batches to brown color .In the same oil add mustard when it crackles add red chili and curry leaves.Add the ground ginger,garlic &green chilli paste and saute till the raw smell goes.

4.Add the chili powder ,turmeric powder.when it becomes brown and oil starts to be seen add the asafoetida , vinegar ,water and salt let it boil add fish pieces and let it boil for 3 -4 minutes.Put off flame and add fenugreek powder.Mix well.When cool bottle it.

5 .Heat some sesame oil and cool it .Pour on top of the pickle before closing it .The oil acts as a preventive layer from spoiling fast.

Use after two days if u can wait that long 🙂

Refrigerate once the flavors sink in .


  • Cut fish into small pieces so that the spices sink in quickly.
  • Fry fish till it is really crispy otherwise it will spoil very fast.
  • I like lil masala in the pickle so I grind the garlic mix but u could finely chop and add too..  
Do let me know if u liked this recipe.

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