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By Citizen Reporter


Pickled fish with a twist: Veggie-fied ‘pickled fish’ recipe

If meat - in general - isn't your thing, here's a Cape Malay-inspired pickled cauliflower to put a veggie twist on the Easter classic.

As the world prepares for the Easter Weekend, meal planning and other preparations are well underway. However, one group of foodies, the plant-based eaters, may find themselves slightly neglected during this period. 

Thankfully, the people over at Health for Mzansi have thought about this and have created a veggie-fied ‘pickled fish’ recipe for that very reason. 

The recipe was originally developed by Foodie Dané Vermeulen who came up with a Cape Malay-inspired pickled cauliflower to put a veggie twist on this Easter classic.

“I’m a big fan of any curry dish and I get quite excited about Cape Malay pickled fish. However, since my transition to a plant-based diet, I knew I had to find a way to recreate this yummy classic,” commented Vermeulen. 


Cape Malay pickled cauliflower

Whole roasted cauliflower

If meat – in general – isn’t your thing, here’s a Cape Malay-inspired pickled cauliflower to put a veggie twist on the Easter classic.

  • Author: Dané Vermeulen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Lunch, Dinner
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: South African
  • Diet: Vegetarian


  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 500ml vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cup soy milk (or your choice of alternative milk)
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pepper

For the curry pickle (to put the pickle in pickled fish)

  • 30ml olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 heaped teaspoon cumin
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander
  • 5 allspice seeds
  • 2 heaped teaspoons turmeric
  • 3 heaped teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 heaped teaspoon Mother-in-law curry powder (optional for a hotter sauce)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 500ml water
  • 500ml white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Maizena powder
  • Fresh coriander leaves


For battered cauliflower: 

  1. To prepare your cauliflower for the veggie-fied ‘pickled fish’ dish, cut the blooms into bite-size pieces and try to remove most of the stem. Keep in mind that they can double in size once you batter and fry them.
  2. Set the cauliflower blooms aside and start preparing your batter by adding all your dry ingredients into a medium to large bowl and mix well.
  3. Add the milk and mix the ingredients until a smooth texture. Place your cauliflower blooms in the batter and mix them until each bloom is coated with the batter.
  4. Place your oil in a pot on medium heat.
  5. Test the heat of your oil by placing a cauliflower bloom in the oil, it should reach a golden-brown colour within 1 to 2 mins.
  6. If your oil is too hot your batter will burn on the outside and still be raw on the inside.
  7. If the oil is not hot enough your cauliflower will be overcooked, so try not to cook it for more than 2 mins.
  8. Once cooked, place your fried blooms in a bowl lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

For curry pickle: 

  1. Fry the onions in a large pot on high heat in olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger and spices and stir while frying the ingredients for about 2 mins. Lower your stove plate to a medium heat and mix in the sugar.
  3. Once mixed, add the water and vinegar and stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Leave the pickle sauce to simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Once the curry pickle has reduced to about two-thirds, prepare the Maizena in a cup of cold water and add to the mixture and wait until it thickens.
  5. In two large jars start layering your sauce and deep-fried cauliflower blooms. Make sure each cauliflower layer is immersed in the curry pickle.
  6. It is important to pot your ingredients while the sauce is hot because this will ensure that the deep-fried cauliflower blooms will soak up all the flavour of the sauce. Close each jar with a lid and set aside to cool. Once cooled store it in the fridge.
  7. To serve, place your pickled cauliflower on a bed of finely sliced red cabbage and top it off with some fresh coriander leaves.

Keywords: , pickled,cauliflower

This recipe was found on healthformzansi.co.za.

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