-Submitted by Dahlia
(Fish Roasted in Banana Leaves)
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Meen Pollichathu is a fish delicacy from the state of Kerala. It is a lengthy process to make but the end result is worth it. Fish is shallow fried, a delicious onion-tomato masala is prepared, these are wrapped in banana leaves and then roasted. During roasting, the flavours of the banana leaves seeps in and blends with the masala and fish. When you eat the fish, you can actually feel the aroma. The final product is delicious and goes well with rice or tapioca.
Fish Pollichathu is popular in restaurants. It is commonly made with Karimeen At home you can make it with pomfret, king fish or any other fish. I often make when I get neymeen (king fish). This time I've made with sardines and that tastes awesome too. Fish Pollichathu is perfect to make during festivals or other special occasions. If you have never tried it, do give it a try. You will surely enjoy it.
Recipe for Meen Pollichathu
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
- Banana Leaves - 2
- Fish Pieces - 1/2 kg (I used Sardines. You can use any thick fish cut into pieces too)
- Red Chili Powder - 2 tbsp
- Coriander Powder - 2 tsp
- Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
- Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
- Small Onions - 25 or 5 big ones
- Garlic - 2 tbsp (crushed)
- Ginger - 2 tbsp (crushed)
- Green Chilies - 3 (finely chopped)
- Tomatoes - 2 big (or 3 small)
- Curry Leaves - 1 spring (chopped)
- Coconut Milk - 1/4 cup
- Salt - to taste
- Coconut Oil - for frying
- You can use fish slices or small full fishes. If using full fish, make gashes. Apply some salt, turmeric powder, pepper powder and red chili powder on the fish pieces.
- Rest for 10-15 mins and shallow fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Keep this ready.
- To prepare masala, heat oil in a pan and add the sliced onion first. When it becomes golden brown, add curry leaves, crushed ginger, crushed garlic and chopped green chilies.
- Fry for few minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chili powder and coriander powder. Add 2 tbsp of water and cook till the masala comes together.
- Add 1/4 cup of coconut milk and mix well. Cook till you get a thick masala and switch off.
- Now let's prepare the banana leaves. Wash it and wilt it on direct flame. Cut into small pieces to make parcels.
- Take each leaf and place some masala in the center. Place the fried fish on top.
- Add additional masala covering the top of the fish. Top with a tomato slice and fresh curry leaves.
- Wrap the banana leaf on all 4 sides and make a tight parcel. Tie it with the banana fibre or a twine. Repeat and make parcels with all the fish pieces.
- Heat a tawa on medium low heat, add 1-2 tbsp of oil. Roast the wrapped up fish parcels for about 3-4 minutes on both sides.
- Let the parcels rest for 5 minutes before you open it and enjoy.
Serving Meen Pollichathu
- If you cannot find banana leaves, you can use aluminium foil or parchment paper. However, the traditional taste come only with banana leaves.
- Fresh coconut milk gives the best taste. However, you can use 1 tbsp milk powder mixed with 1/4 cup of warm water too.
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