Mangalorean Fish Mole (Fish in Vinegar/Fish Preserve) When Hubby Cooks

It's not everyday my heart brims with happiness while writing a post. I touch upon a myriad of moods with each post - most of which I express in letters and a majority of it is still hidden within me but today I want to express wholesome happiness. And gratitude. To you - to each one of you who voted for me last year and through the first quarter of this year while I was nominated on's list of Top 100 Mom Food Bloggers for 2012 and guess what? The results have been declared and has ranked Ruchik Randhap at #87! has also honoured my blog by giving the winners a badge that I now proudly display on the blog.

Thanks to each and every one of you who has voted for Ruchik Randhap and popularized it in your own special way. For those of you who were unable to vote, thank you for your continued support, encouragement, love & appreciation that makes blogging worth it. Thanks especially for your lovely emails that are so heart warming, honest and generous. They truly make me feel very special.

Ruchik Randhap is close to my heart as something which started as a channel to divert my boredom into something productive has slowly transformed itself into a full fledged passion and a new platform to express my thoughts and get the creative juices flowing. Besides just showcasing or recording my tried and tested recipes my goal has evolved into one where I attempt to preserve the culinary diversity of Mangalore and I hope to succeed in that. Every new recipe helps me learn new things - about ingredients, flavours, cooking techniques and not to forget the myriad diversities within Mangalorean cuisine - so many cultures in Mangalore bring with them a variety of sub cuisines - so distinctive, yet so similar. Like has put it, I am determined to put this town on the culinary map.

What could be a better ode to 'preserving our culinary diversity' than a recipe that comes close to representing that? Fish Mole of course! A simple and quick to make fish preserve or simply put, fish in vinegar. This is not to be confused with Fish Molee which is a preparation that beside other ingredients includes onions and coconut milk and is more of a curry than a preserve. Fish Molee is typically part of Keralan cuisine and Fish Mole (or Moal) is the Mangalorean way of preserving fish temporarily in a medley of spices and vinegar. Again, this should not be confused with fish pickle which is prepared using different varieties of fish, a lot more ingredients and a different technique that helps preserve it for upto a year.

The full credit of this recipe goes to Roshan- I think it's time I started calling him by his full name instead of just his initial 'R', Mr.Sequeira, Hubbykins and other terms of endearment that I have often used in this blog. So yes, this recipe was born after an argument - I claimed that he did not like the fish mole and he argued that he did. I was wrong in the end, because I guess I had simply confused the fish mole with the fish molee (he doesn't dig coconut milk based fish curries you see). To put all doubts to rest he cheerfully prepared this mole over the weekend and the taste has just gotten better after each passing day.

When you make it don't be so tempted as to eat much of it right after it has been prepared. It will taste awfully tangy and may put you off completely. Instead I suggest you to wait for a couple of days by which time the fish pieces would have absorbed the spices & vinegar and aged beautifully. 

Fish Mole
Prep time:20mins | Cooking time: 45mins | Yield: Fills up a 500ml jar (approx)

You Need:
1. Clean and allow the fish to drain on a colander. If required cut the fish into smaller pieces. Pat dry. Marinate it with turmeric powder, salt and half tsp of vinegar for 30 mins. Fry the fish lightly on both sides and keep aside to cool. If you can, debone the fish. 
2. Grind the red chillies, cumin seeds, turmeric powder in 2 tbsp of vinegar and a little boiled & cooled water to a fine paste
3. Mix the masala, chopped garlic, ginger, chillies with 3-4 tbps of vinegar with 3/4th cup boiled water and cook for 30-40 minutes on a slow fire. Turn off the flame and keep aside to cool.
4. Mix the fried fish with the masala so that every piece is well coated with the masala. Store in an airtight glass or ceramic jar (not plastic). Fish mole will last for 8-10 days without refrigeration and for longer under refrigeration.

Sepia Memories
This picture somehow reminds me of how fish mole may have looked if my grandma had made it and handed me some old pictures. 

Labels: , , , , , , ,