Steamed Fish-meen-pollichathu(kerala recipe)


I always wish I could take better pics of what I cook 🙂

I love maria’s menu; Ive followed quite a few recipes, this one’s the best meen pollichathu..

fish marinated in coconut milk & steamed to beauty..
Cleaned fish steaks/filet – 4 pieces, 225 gms (measured after cleaning)
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Pepper powder – ¼ tsp
Small / pearl onion – 15-18, sliced
Crushed ginger – 2 tsp
Crushed garlic – 2.5 tsp
Green chilli – 1-2 chopped
Chilli powder – 1.5-2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1.5 tsp
Tomato – 1 small – medium, chopped
Medium thick coconut milk – ¼ cup
Curry leaves
Coconut oil
Banana leaves – 1 big
Make gashes on both sides of the cleaned fish. Marinate the fish pieces with turmeric powder, pepper powder and salt. Keep aside for 10-15 mins. Fry the marinated fish pieces till it’s half done, around 2-3 mins on each side.
Heat oil in a pan and add sliced small onion. When it becomes golden brown, add crushed ginger, garlic and chopped green chilli. Fry for 2-3 mins. Add chilli and coriander powder and mix well. After 2-3 mins, add a tbsp of hot water and mix well. Add chopped tomato, curry leaves and salt and mix. Add 2 tbsp of hot water and cook till tomato becomes soft.
Add ¼ cup of medium thick coconut milk and mix well. Cook till the masala has become thick.
Clean the banana leaves (refer notes) and wilt it slightly by placing it on the gas flame and flipping the sides.
Place some masala on the leaves and place the fried fish on top of it. Cover the fish with another layer of masala. Wrap the banana leaves and make a parcel. Tie it with banana fibre or cooking thread.
Roast the wrapped fish on a hot tava, flip and cook till both sides are done, 3-4 mins on each side.It is better to cook on the low heat for the flavours to seep in. Keep it covered for another 5 -10 mins and open the parcel and serve.
You can have it as a starter or a side dish. You can serve it with Appam, Idiyappam or rice.
NOTESI used black pomfret (karutha avoli) for this recipe. You can use Karimeen, Kingfish or I think even salmon will work out, if you like the taste of salmon.

I like the fish to be covered in masala, but if you prefer less masala, adjust the qty of ingredients accordingly.

You can also use al.foil instead of banana leaves and follow the same recipe. You can use kodampuli (kokum) instead of tomato. If using kodampuli, soak 1 big piece in hot water for 10 mins. Add the soaked kodampuli, in place of tomato and follow the rest of the recipe.

If you are using coconut milk powder, add 2 tsp coconut milk powder to ¼ cup lukewarm water to get medium thick coconut milk.

Remove the middle vein of the leaves and use it. It’s not necessary to wilt the leaves, but it helps in holding the shape while folding it.

You can marinate the fish and also prepare the masala one day in advance and refrigerate if you like.


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