A yummy sardine pickle recipe from Kerala, post the rains and the big floods.
Marinate 10 medium sized sardines (cut into chunks) in 2 tbs red Kashmiri chilli powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp crushed black pepper and salt. Leave for an hour and then shallow fry the sardine chunks in gingelly oil until they are crisp (Sesame/gingelly oil is the best for pickling, as it would make the pickle last longer)
Strain the oil into another pan. Add half cup more gingelly oil and temper it with 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds, a pinch of fennel seeds, a handful of fresh curry leaves and 4-5 fenugreek seeds. Add 5 chopped green chillies, 1 inch piece ginger minced finely and 10 slit garlic pods. Fry well. Add 1 tbs chilli powder/paprika powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, a dash of asafoetida and fry well, until the oil runs clear.
Add the sardine chunks and toss well. Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar and cook for a couple of minutes. Mix well, without crushing the pieces. Switch off and cool. After a couple of hours, taste and add more vinegar or salt if required.
Transfer into an airtight pickle jar. Pour a little gingelly oil on top, shake the jar well and let it rest. The sardine pieces should be well-coated and covered in the red oily vinegary gravy.
This goes great with white rice.
By Christ & Co.