Friday, 6 February 2015

Meen Pollichathu / Baked Fish

Fish in banana leaf wraps - a central kerala delicacy.

  • One whole fish (you can use Pearl spot or Pomfrets) 
  • Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
  • Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp
  • Pepper Powder 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp of oil for frying the fish
For the Masala
  • Oil 11/2 tbsp
  • Shallots 5-6 finely sliced
  • Ginger 1/2 tbsp finely chopped
  • Garlic 1/2 tbsp finely chopped
  • Green chillies 2 finely chopped
  • Coriander Powder 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
  • Lemon juice 1/2 
  • Tomatoes 1 medium chopped 
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Thick coconut milk1/4 cup
  • Banaleaf / aluminium foil


Clean the fish thoroughly. Give it a final rinse in a bowl of water, vinegar and 1/2 tbsp of salt. Pat dry using paper towel and make slits on both sides of the fish.

Marinate the fish with turmeric powder, red chilly powder, pepper powder and salt. Keep it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Heat a pan and pour the oil. Place the fish , fry both the sides of the fish lightly, by flipping it when necessary. Remove it on a plate when done.

Preparing the Masala

In the same pan add some more oil. Once hot add ginger, garlic and green chillies saute for 2 minutes, add the sliced shallots, curry leaves and salt. Let the shallots turn soft.

Add in the coriander powder, chilli powder and turmeric powder, Give it stir and add the lemon juice and chopped tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes. Now add the coconut milk . Let it heat up until it just starts to boil. The masala mixture should be more like a paste not too runny.

Take banana leaf or aluminium foil. Spread half of the masala on it and place the fried fish on top of it. Now spread the remaining masala on top of the fish. Fold the aluminium foil or banana leaf to wrap up the fish completely. If using the banana leaf, tie it up with a twine or with a tooth pick.

Bake it in the oven for about 20 minutes at 180 degree .

Or grill it on the stove. Just place the wrapped up fish in a hot cast iron pan or greased non stick pan and place another heavy pan on top of it. Cook it on medium flame flipping it every 5 minutes to cook them evenly.

Serve warm with steamed rice.

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