Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Meen Pollichathu / Baked Fish in Banana leaf

Meen Pollichathu

This is another authentic Kerala recipe which tops my favorites list.....The first thing that comes to mind when I think of its preparation is the nice aroma of banana leaf in which the fish is wrapped...Please excuse me for using Aluminium foil instead, because of the unavailability of banana leaf here...If you are fortunate enough to get them ,please do try with banana leaf itself ....

The name meen Pollichathu is used almost synonymously with Karimeen pollichathu as Karimeen [ Pearl Spot fish ]  is the usual fish selection for this preparation..But you can always try with any of your favorite fishes...I have used a local variety called trevally for the recipe here....Except for the aroma of banana leaves , I usually get satisfied with this method...

The wonderful combination of the authetic Kerala spices  along with the goodness of coconut milk makes this preparation simply irresistable...

Do try out for the coming looooooooooong weekend....

Here is the recipe, step by step...

  1. Whole Fish / Fillet                               - 2  [ I used Trevally available locally here ]
       For marination and Frying
  1. Salt                                                    - 1 tsp
  2. Turmeric Powder                            - 1/2 tsp
  3. Red Chillie Powder                          - 1 tsp
  4. Pepper Powder                                - 1/2 tsp
  5. Water                                                - 1 Tbsp
  6. Oil                                                      - enough for shallow frying
       For the Gravy 
  1. Cambodge                     - 1 piece
  2. Water  [warm]             - 1/4 cup
  3. Oil                                   - 1 Tbsp
  4. Mustard Seeds             - 1 tsp
  5. Curry leaves                 - 1 sprig
  6. Onion                              - 3 large [ chopped finely ]
  7. Tomato                          - 2 small [ chopped finely]
  8. Grated Ginger              - 1 tsp
  9. Grated Garlic                - 1 tsp
  10. Red / Green Chillie      - 1 large
  11. Salt                                 - 1/2 tsp
  12. Coconut milk                 - 2 Tbsps
  1. Cut and clean the fish and make small slits on its surfaces.
  2. Mix together ingredients 1-5 under marination and make a paste of it.
  3. Marinate the fish pieces with this and keep aside for about 1/2 hr. You can keep it refrigerated during this time.
  4. After 1/2 hr, shallow fry the fish pieces in a skillet with enough oil. Turn over and get both sides done. 
  5. Remove from oil and drain the fish pieces on a paper towel and keep aside.
  6. Before starting the gravy preparation , soak the cambodge in 1/4 cup of warm water and keep aside.
  7. And preheat oven to 180°C.
  8. Now to start with the gravy preparation, heat a wide mouth pan and add oil to it.
  9. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and allow them to sputter.
  10. Now add curry leaves, followed by ginger , garlic and chillie. Saute for a minute.
  11. Add onion now along with salt and saute until they are soft and brownish.
  12. Now add tomatoes and saute them until they are soft and mushy.
  13. Add the soaked cambodge along with the water.
  14. Saute until all the water gets absorbed.
  15. Reduce the heat and add coconut milk. Saute until it is absorbed and the gravy thickens.
  16. Line a piece of aluminuim foil on a baking tray and spread 1/4th of the gravy on it. 
  17. Now place one fried fish on top and cover it with some more gravy.
  18. Now slowly seal the foil on all sides.
  19. Repeat steps 16 - 18 for the second fish too.
  20. Bake them for about 20-25 mins.
Serve hot with Rice.....

Note : 
  • If you are using banana leaf, you don't have to go for baking. 
  • Instead wrap the fish in banana leaf and tie it with a string. 
  • Heat a skillet and then toast the wrapped fish on it , turning over to get both sides done.
Here is a click of the banana wrapped one that I had taken during my last Kerala trip...Couldnt get the complete step wise pictures that time....

Toasting method in banana leaf

Check out the lovely Meen Pollichathu at Vazhayila....
She has mentioned steaming method too...

Wishing a Great weekend to all of you........
Have a wonderful Easter holidays...


  1. yummy recipe.. drooling here.. i make with foil too :(

  2. ayyo ithu kandittu kothi akunnu superbb

  3. Perfect and yummy meen polichathu..makes me hungry.

  4. Wow- that sounds like such an authentic recipe- perfectly done n presented!
    US Masala

  5. Adipoli! Njan ethu vare ee method try cheythittilla..Lakshmi nattil ninnu edutha karimeen pollichathu pics udan ayakkamenne paranjittundu..Ethu kandittee kothiyakunnu..

  6. One of our fav fish preparation :-) yummm

  7. wow..meen pollichathu looks so tempting and perfect....:)

  8. So so perfect and yummo!!!

    thanks for the mention dear!!!


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