Fish Pickle / Meen Achar/ Spicy Kerala Fish Pickle

Fish pickle is a popular Kerala Condiment that augments every meal with its humble flavours. Spicy and flavourful, this Fish pickle saves the day when you feel extremely lazy to cook. Whisking up multiple menus a day and that too incessantly for 7 plus months, can be tiresome even for those who love to cook. If you are losing some steam, I can relate very well, the pandemic is playing on everyone’s nerves! Hence, I decided to make something that would help me cut time in the kitchen at least on Monday afternoons.

Monday is my favourite day now a days, all my ‘home mates’ go back to online ruckus and I laze around in my garden or snooze with Louie and Billie (our naughty cats), and I manage with leftovers from weekend cooking. So, to help me relax on Mondays, I tried my Mil’s Fish Pickle recipe and her ‘darling son’ was easily captivated. Managing kids with leftovers was easy; so, I ordered more Fish and thought I will help others who are in same dilemma by posting the recipe.

Fish Pickle has the perfect spicy flavours to pep up your meal, and it is quite easy to prepare (actually, easier than I thought). Any fleshy fish can be used – Seer fish, Modha, Barracuda, White Tuna are considered the best. The flavours intensify after few days, so it is better to leave it for few days before consuming. No guarantee it would stay that long!

In Kerala, Pickles are part of daily menu, savoured with rice, Biriyani or with curd rice and Parathas. I love spicy pickles but do not have it regularly, as it contains high quantities of oil, salt and spices. However, I do enjoy Lime pickle/ Naranga Achar with Biryani; Pavakka/ Mango pickle with Kanji or Curd rice. Beef Pickle and Kerala Meen achar are enjoyed occasionally with Kerala rice and sides. Lebanese style pickle is another favourite at home enjoyed with Shawarma or grilled chicken.

If you like pickles and chutneys, check out my pickles, Veppilakkatti/ Chammanthipodi, Mango chutney, Thenga chammanthi, Tomato chutney and Nellikka Chammanthi recipes, to elevate your meals. I have included the video recipe for Fish Pickle, please watch, try and if you like, comment, like and share with your friends and family. Check out other hit video recipes like Chicken Momos, Beef Pepper Fry, Kappa Biryani etc.

For now, here is the recipe for delectable Kerala style Fish Pickle/ Meen Achar.

Ingredients for Fish Pickle:

Fish fillet

: 500 gms

Turmeric Powder

: ½ tsp + ½ tsp


: 2” piece


: 15 cloves

Green chili

: 8 -10 pcs

Curry leaves

: 5 sprigs

Ginger Garlic paste

: 1 tsp


: ½ tsp

Fenugreek seeds (Uluva)

: ½ tsp (roasted and powdered)

Hing/ Asafoetida powder

: ½ tsp

Kashmiri Chili Powder

: 4 tbsp

Gingely oil/ Coconut Oil

: ½ cup


: ½ tsp +1 tsp


: ½ cup

Hot water

: ½ cup


  1. Clean and cut the fish fillets into small bite size pieces.
  2. Marinate with ½ tsp Turmeric powder and salt..
  3. Keep aside for half hour.

Fish Pickle / Meen Achar / Spicy Kerala Fish Pickle

  1. Slice the Garlic, chop the ginger finely and slit green chili.
  2. In a bowl, mix turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt, Hing/ Asafoetida powder and roasted Uluva/ Fenugreek powder with hot water to make a smooth paste.
  3. Heat oil in a pan.
  4. Fry fish pieces till golden brown and crispy.  Drain.

Fish Pickle / Meen Achar / Spicy Kerala Fish Pickle Fish Pickle / Meen Achar / Spicy Kerala Fish Pickle Fish Pickle / Meen Achar / Spicy Kerala Fish Pickle Fish Pickle / Meen Achar / Spicy Kerala Fish Pickle

  1. Next, fry garlic till golden brown and drain.
  2. Fry the ginger and green chillies next, drain and keep aside.
  3. Add the curry leaves to the oil, fry, drain and keep aside.

Fish Pickle / Meen Achar / Spicy Kerala Fish Pickle

  1. Pop mustards next, add ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute.
  2. Add spice paste to the oil and fry well.
  3. Pour Vinegar to the pan and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the flame and add fried fish pieces.
  5. Put the fried garlic, ginger and green chilies back to the pan.
  6. Combine well to coat the fish pieces with pickle gravy.

Fish Pickle / Meen Achar / Spicy Kerala Fish Pickle

  1. Let it cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  2. Adjust salt if required.

Turn off the heat and keep it aside covered for cooling and transfer it to a glass bottle. Have with Kerala rice and side dishes for lunch or with curd rice or warm kanji for a satisfying meal.


  • You can use any fleshy fish for making Spicy Fish Pickle. Seer Fish, Modha, White Tuna fillets or any other firm fish fillet can be used.
  • Adjust the spices according to your spice level.
  • Do not add Chilli powder or ginger garlic paste while marinating. The oil will not get spoilt this way. 
  • Gingely oil/ Sesame oil or coconut oil can be used for this pickle.
  • Use Kashmiri Chili powder to get that hot red color to the pickle, it is less spicy but more appealing!
  • Roasted Uluva powder/ Fenugreek powder should be used for better results. However, you can use whole Uluva/ Fenugreek if you prefer.
  • Add mild vinegar or brewed vinegar for less pungent taste.
  • Make sure you have all the ingredients ready before starting the process.
  • Switch off the flame immediately after combining everything.
  • You can add more water (boiled and cooled) if required.
  • Store in airtight containers. Always use dry spoons while serving.

Please try this delicious recipe for Kerala style Fish Pickle, and don’t forget to let me know if you like it through comments. Please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel and share with your friends and family- that would really encourage me. God Bless!!

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