Pickles or Achar in India are typically made with chopped vegetables that are preserved in a mixture of oil, salt and spices or brined with spices. Indian pickles tend to be very spicy and concentrated, so they are usually eaten with rice. This shrimp pickle is most likely Goan in origin, though my mother learnt this recipe from a relative who lived in Kerala. This was a novelty for me since I was used to eating vegetarian pickles.
This recipe has poignant memories for me. As we have mentioned in the “About” section of this site, this site is inspired by our respective mothers’ cooking. My mother evinced a keen interest in this site and often suggested recipes. She passed away a little over a month ago and this was the last recipe she had suggested to us before she passed away. In a way, this had grown to become one of her signature dishes and many of my cousins still remember this pickle with fond memories. Here then is my mother’s famous shrimp pickle.
- Shrimp 1 lb - medium, peeled, deveined and tail off
- Oil for deep frying
- Pickle Masala
- Kashmiri red chilli powder - 5 tsp
- Cumin seeds (jeera) - 1 tsp
- Ginger - 1 1/2 inch piece
- Garlic - 12 cloves
- Turmeric powder (haldi) - 1 tsp
- Vinegar - 1 1/2 cups
- Salt to taste
- Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
- Curry leaves - 1 sprig
- Green chillies - 6, slit
Wash the shrimp, rinse and pat dry
Grind the ingredients for the pickle masala - chilli powder, ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, salt and vinegar to a fine paste in a blender.
Deep fry the shrimp and set them aside. Take care not to overcook them.
Take about 2 tbsp of oil left after frying the shrimp and heat it in a pan.
When the oil is hot, season with mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter add the curry leaves and green chillies.
Add the pickle masala to the oil, mix well and bring to a gentle boil.
Add the shrimp and turn off the heat.
When the pickle has cooled transfer into a glass jar/bottle and refrigerate.
This pickle tastes best when served with rice and daal.
- The shrimp (prawns) that we get in India tends to be smaller (and in my opinion more flavourful) than the shrimp here in the US. We used medium sized shrimp for this recipe.
- You can substitute the shrimp with chunks of fried King fish/King mackerel/Seer fish.