Ingredients of Salt Fish Pickle (Pada):
1 Kg Kodava/Promfret or 2 doz's (24 no.'s) of Mackrels; Turmeric Powder 1 tspn; 11/2 kg Oil; Salt to taste. For Grinding: 75 no.'s or ¼ kg Red Dry Chillies; 2 big whole garlic or 15-18 big size garlic pods; 2" pc ginger 1 tspn Pepper Corns; 1 tspn Jeera Seeds; Vinegar - 2 bottles. Grind to a smooth paste using Vinegar (NO WATER TO BE USED AT ALL). For slicing: 125 g of green chillies - washed & finely sliced lengthwise; 15 pods of garlic - peeled & sliced lengthwise. Curry leaves - 2-3 sprigs - for frying & seasoning; Mustard seeds - 1 dessertspoon for seasoning.
Preparation of Salt Fish Pickle (Pada):
Soak & wash the salt fish in 2-3 cups of Vinegar - keep aside. Use a little Turmeric powder & smear the washed fish - fry & remove - leave to cool - remove bones break up into small pieces & keep aside. (If using Salted Mackerels remove heads & fins, then soak & wash, fry, debone break up into small pieces & keep). Put a kadai on fire add oil when hot fry the sliced green chillies, garlic & curry leaves - when the green chillies begin to change colour & the garlic is becoming brown add the Mustard seeds - when the mustard seeds crackle add the ground masala paste low heat & fry till oil comes to the surface, add vinegar & salt to taste & mix well let it boil once again till oil comes to the surface, now add the salt fish pcs & mix well leave to cook on low flame for another 10-15 mins(stirring occasionally to avoid burning) till oil comes to the surface - now remove from heat - leave to cool - bottle & keep - use whenever required.
Recipe contributed by Pearl Subramanian.