Today I am sharing the recipe of Karimeen pollichathu / Pearl spot fried in plantain / banana leaf, which is a toddy shop / house boat specialty and it is very popular among malayalees. This dish is prepared by frying fish by wrapping it in banana leaves and if you dont have banana leaves then you can even use aluminium foil.
Karimeen / Pearl spot ~ 2 nos ( large sized ) / 3 nos ( small sized )
Chopped ginger and garlic ~ 2 tbsp
Green chillies ~ 5 nos
Chopped shallots / Kochu ulli ~ 2 1/2 cups
Kashmiri chilli powder / Charadan mulaku podi ~ 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder ~ 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder ~ 1/2 tsp
Fennel powder / Perinjeerakam podi ~ 2 pinch
Fenugreek powder / Ulava podi ~ 2 pinch
Tomatoes ~ 2 nos
Curry leaves ~ 2-3 stems
Mustard seeds / Kadku
Banana leaves / Vazhayila ~ as needed
Salt to taste
For marination :
Kashmiri chilli powder ~ 1 tsp
Black pepper powder ~ 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder ~ 1 tsp
Salt ~ 1 tsp ( approximately )
Lemon juice / Vinegar ~ 1 1/2 tsp
- First clean the fish and using a knife make 3-4 gashes on each side of the fish. Then make a paste of red chilli powder, black pepper powder, turmeric powder, vinegar and salt and then marinate the fish with this paste and refridgerate it for about 30 minutes - 1 hour. Then heat just 2-3 tbsp's of oil preferably in a non-stick pan and fry the marinated fish in a low flame for about 2-3 minutes per side. Then transfer the fried fish to a paper towel.
- Now we need to prepare the masala for fish, so heat little more oil in the same pan and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds crackle, add curry leaves followed by chopped ginger and garlic, chopped green chillies and chopped shallots and saute till shallots become soft. Then lower the flame and add kashmiri chilli powder, black pepper powder, turmeric powder, fennel powder & fenugreek powder, and fry till the raw smell of the powders go. Next add chopped tomatoes and little salt and fry till the tomatoes are nicely mashed and cooked and then remove the masala from the flame.
- Then take clean plantain leaf and cut into medium to large sized pieces, but do make sure not to use the stem. Then singe the banana leaves over an open flame, this will make the leaves soft so that it wont break while wrapping.
- Then first place a layer of masala on the center of the banana leaf and place the fried karimeen / pearl spot above the masala and then again place another layer of masala on top of the fish. Finally place some sliced green chillies, sliced tomatoes, curry leaves and sliced onions on the top of it and wrap the fish tightly using the banana leaf and tie it with a thread.
- Then take a deep pan and heat 2-3 tbsp of oil and then first place some plantain leaves in the pan and then place the wrapped fish in it and cook covered in a low flame for about 20 minutes, ie 10 minutes each side and remove from the flame.