My Shilpa mami ( maternal uncle’s wife) is an amazing cook!
She has her own blend of masalas ( spice blend) which she gets ground from a mill or does her own grinding at home and is always excited to discuss food and share her meals and recipes wholeheartedly. I am still to sample meat or seafood curry that has been cooked better than what she does. But, my most favourite so far is Shilpa mami’s Prawn pickle. I literally demand it out of her every time i visit, and am short of a tantrum when it comes to sharing it. Its the best i have ever had, and believe me, i have had many many relatives cooking for me when i am back home 🙂
There are many ways to make seafood pickle, and people use many different kind of fish. Also, in India there is heavy spice and sourness involved when u talk pickles, and when it comes to meat or seafood , a lot of people use tamarind pulp for the sourness. I have tried this and though tasty, i find the sourness of the tamarind quite overwhelming and the delicacy of the seafood seems to get lost in it. Shilpa mami uses freshly squeezed lemon juice, and this according to me gives the pickle a fresh and less intense ring.
Hot & Sour Prawn Pickle
Cooking time : 30 mins
Half kg Fresh medium to small sized Shrimps, deveined and cleaned . The smaller the better but make sure they are fresh. Frozen WONT DO.
A small blob Ginger finely chopped
3-4 green chilles finely chopped
Fenugreek seeds, half a teaspoon
Mustard seeds 1 tablespoon
Asafoetida 1/2 tablespoon
Peanut/ Coconut oil 2 tablespoons
Red chilli powder
Pickle masala 4 tablespoons ( This is readily available in all Indian groceries)
Freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons
1) Wash the shrimps and drain all the water.
2) Marinate with sea salt, turmeric, chilli powder and half of the pickle masala. Note that the pickle masala contains spice so you will want to be careful about the amount of chilli powder you use. The best is to go a little easy on the chilli in the beginning and then gradually add it on later if need be.
3) Heat oil in a saucepan and then add Asafoetida, Mustard seeds, Fenugreek. Once the mustard begins to splutter, add the chillies and ginger. Saute for a few seconds.
4) Add the remaining pickle masala and the marinated shrimps. Mix well.
5) Add a few spoons of water.
6) Cook for 5-10 mins, OR until the shrimps change color and are completely tender.
7) Cool. Then add the lemon juice. Mix thoroughly and store in a dry airtight container OR serve warm and fresh.
Tastes great with just plain bread or boiled white rice and Kokum Kadhi.