Molho is a sweet-tangy-spicy fish pickle. It can be stored without refrigeration for about 2 months if topped with a layer of oil. Besides Squid Molho, I also do one with King Fish and another with Prawns. The recipe for these are also posted on this website.
Yield: 1200 gms (approx.)
Prep. Time: 40 Mins.
Cooking Time: 60 Mins.
- Squids (cleaned, cut into rings) – 750 to 800 gms
- Onion (finely chopped) – 3 medium (optional)
- Toddy Vinegar – 400 ml. or to taste
- For the Masala Paste:
- Kashmiri Red Chillies (stemmed & broken) – 25 to 28
- Ginger (peeled) – 2 inch
- Garlic (peeled) – 12 cloves (medium sized)
- Cloves – 12
- Black Pepper Corns – 20
- Cinnamon – 2 inch piece
- Cumin Seeds – 1 tbsp.
- Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp.
- Granulated Sugar – 400 to 500 gms
- Oil – 400 ml
- Salt – 2 ½ tsp. or to taste
Step 1: Wash the squid rings and strain them using a fine sieve. Use a clean muslin cloth and dry them. Apply 1 tsp. salt to the washed and dried squid rings and keep aside for 30 minutes (see notes below).
Step 2: Boil and cool about 100 ml water. It will be needed to grind the masala.
Step 3: Dry grind the chillies till powdered (helps to make a fine smooth masala). Then add all the remaining ingredients for the masala and grind to a fine smooth paste using 200 ml vinegar and 50 ml boiled and cooled water. Keep aside.
Step 4: Heat 200 ml oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, take a few squid rings in a frying net and release it slowly into the oil. Use the net to press over the squids to reduce spluttering of oil. (see note). Fry for 2 minutes and then remove. Do this for all the rings. Keep aside.
Step 5: Transfer the oil left in the pan to a non-stick pan and add the remaining 200 ml of oil. Place on heat and when hot add the onion and fry till golden on medium heat.
Step 6: Add the spice paste and cook on low heat for 8 to 10 minutes stirring continuously (make sure you do not burn the masala).
Step 7: Then add the sugar and cook on low heat whilst stirring continuously till the sugar melts and the oil floats on top.
Step 8: Add the remaining 200 ml of vinegar, 1 tsp. salt and mix for 2 minutes. Add the fried squids and mix lightly. Continue cooking on low heat for another 10 minutes. Check for sugar, salt, sourness and adjust accordingly. Then cool completely and store in a sterile glass bottle topped with the oil. Preserve for 2 to 3 weeks before eating.
- Be careful when deep frying the squid rings. The oil will splutter. If you are not confident, you can also shallow fry the squids.
- The Molho can be stored in the refrigerator for a longer shelf life.