Karimeen Pollichathu

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We had some left over plantain leaves from Ona Sadya and thought of making Karimeen Pollichathu.

This is my sister-in-law’s preparation. I was just doing the role of an assistant; chopping onions and tomatoes, measuring the quantity of ingredients etc etc. And of course, playing the role of photographer too.

Preparation time: 40 minutes | Difficulty Level: Medium

  • Karimeen / Pearl spot – 2 medium sized or 3 small ones
For Gravy
    • Onion (finely chopped) – 5 medium sized
    • Tomatoes (finely chopped) – 3 medium sized
    • Ginger (crushed) – ½ inch piece
    • Garlic (crushed) – 1½ tablespoon
    • Green chillies (Slit) – 2
    • Kashmiri chilli powder – 1½ tablespoon
    • Turmeric powder – A pinch
    • Garam Masala powder – ¼ teaspoon
    • Curry leaves – 2-3 stems
    • Lemon juice – ½ teaspoon ( You can also use Vinegar or Tamarind )
    • Coconut Milk – ¾ cup
    • Plantain leaves / Vazhayila  – As needed
    • Oil – As needed
    • Salt – To taste
    • Water – ¼ cup
For Marination
  • Chilly Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Pepper powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Turmeric – A pinch
  • Salt – As needed
How To
  • Clean the fish and make 3-4 gashes on each side of the fish.
  • Now make a paste of red chilli powder, black pepper powder, turmeric powder, and salt.
  • Marinate the fish with this paste and if time allows refridgerate it for about 20 minutes.
  • Then heat just 2-3 tbsp’s of oil a non-stick pan and fry the marinated fish in a low flame for about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer the fried fish to a kitchen tissue. Keep this aside.
  • Heat some more oil in the same pan. Add crushed ginger and garlic. Add curry leaves and then chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies. Add salt and saute well.
  • Now lower the flame and add chilli powder, turmeric powder and mix well. If needed add 1/4 cup of water, so that we can can fry the powders till their raw smell goes away.
  • Add garam masala and stir.
  • Now it is time for us to add coconut milk. Mix well and let it stand on medium flame till the right consistency for the gravy is achieved.
  • Add lemon juice, stir well and switch off the burner. We got our gravy ready.
  • Slightly smoke the leaf over flame, so that it will be flexible to be wrapped.
  • Add one layer of gravy on the leaf and place the fish on top of it. Now cover it with another thick layer of gravy. The gravy should cover the fish fully. Wrap the fish in banana leaf and tie it with the vazhanaaru / cotton tread.
  • Take a deep pan and heat 2-3 tbsp of oil and place the wrapped fish in it and cook covered in a low flame, around 7-10 minutes on each side. Remove from flame when done and serve hot.

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