Pickled Fish

  • 100g golden brown sugar
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 50g ginger sliced
  • 4 large onions
  • 4 carrots grated
  • 250ml pasata sauce or blended tinned chopped tomato
  • 100g tomato puree or all gold tomato sauce
  • 1 cup white grape vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 peppercorns whole
  • 4 cloves whole
  • 2 tsp crushed green cardamom pods
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp of curry powder
  • 2 tbls fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin, ground
  • 2 tsp coriander, ground
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • Coarse salt, as needed
  • 200ml oil, as needed for frying
  • Fresh coriander to garnish


  • Heat the oil in a heavy pan I use a cast iron casserole pot, and then add the oil, chopped onion and the grated carrots stir for a few minutes with the heat on high.
  • Add the ginger, garlic and chilli (if using).
  • Stir for 2min then put the heat down to very low.
  • Cook for 20min stirring occasionally making sure nothing burns the onions and carrots must brown slowly.
  • Halfway through add the turmeric, cumin and coriander and curry powder and simmer very gently, for a further 10min.
  • Stir occasionally so as not to burn the spices add a drop of water if the mixture becomes too dry.
  • Once the onions and carrots are soft then add the tomato puree, vinegar, water and sugar then cook for a further 30min.
  • Once the sauce is cooked through puree the mixture with a stick blender and then add the whole spices.
  • And simmer again to infuse the flavours of the cinnamon, peppercorns, bay leaves, cardamom pods and all spice berries.
  • The longer you leave the sauce in the fridge the more the flavours impart into the sauce the vinegar and sugar is a natural preservative to stop the sauce from turning.

The Fish

  • You can either pan fry the fish in oil without any coating or deep fry it in batter before placing it in the pickling sauce. Refer to our recipe on fried shad in tomato batter for a good recipe for frying fish in batter.

Share this article

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Related Articles