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Karimeen Pollichathu Pearl Spot with Spices Smoked in Banana Leaf Recipe

Perhaps, the most famous seafood preparation from the backwaters of Kerala. Karimeen Pollichathu is a much revered delicacy of the region for two reasons; one for the fish itself and the second, for its unique style of preparation. The fish is first marinated with spices, shallow fried and then wrapped in a banana leaf with more spices and aromatics; and then finally smoked over wood fire. Since wood fired stoves have become a luxury these days, you can either slow cook using a grill, pan or oven. Though this dish works best with Karimeen, you can use other seafood too like Spanish mackerel, Indian mackerel, snapper fillets, pomfret or even tiger prawns.

Cooking time: 30Min
Serves: 4

Ingredients: 1. 2 whole Karimeen/pearl spot 2. 1 cup coconut oil (to be used in small quantities at different stages of the dish) 3. 2 sprigs curry leaves For marination: 4. 1 tsp red chilli powder 5. ½ tsp turmeric powder 6. ½ tsp garlic paste 7. ½ tsp ginger paste 8. Salt, to season 9. ¼ tsp black pepper powder 10. 1 tbsp lemon juice For the coating: 11. ½ tsp mustard seeds 12. 2 green chillies; finely chopped 13. 2 large garlic cloves; finely chopped 14. ½ inch ginger, finely chopped 15. 2 sprigs curry leaves 16. 6 – 8 shallots, finely chopped 17. ½ tsp coriander powder 18. ½ tsp fenugreek powder 19. ¼ tsp turmeric powder 20. ½ tsp red chilli powder 21. 1 ripe tomato; finely chopped 22. 2 banana/plantain leaf; cleaned well and no tears 23. Salt, to season Method: • Remove the guts and clean the fish well; pat dry and keep aside for marination. Score the fish lightly. • Make a marinade using all the ingredients listed with as little water as possible. Smear it well on the fish and keep aside for at least 2-3 hours or overnight if possible. • Heat 4-5 tbsp coconut oil; add a few curry leaves to the hot oil and shallow fry the fish on both side till half done. Remove and keep aside. • Into the remaining oil, add mustard seeds and crackle. Then add chopped green chillies, ginger-garlic, curry leaves, chopped small onions and sauté well. • Next, add a paste of coriander powder, turmeric powder, fenugreek powder and red chilli powder and sauté again. • Add the sliced tomatoes, season with salt and sauté till the mixture comes together but not completely mushy. • Warm the banana leaves lightly over a flame to prevent it from cracking while rolling into parcels. • Place ¼ th of the masala on the banana leaf, place one fried fish on top and then spoon more masala on top. • Wrap the fish into a neat parcel and secure using thread or toothpicks. Repeat the same for the second fish. • Heat a few spoons of coconut oil in a tawa or flat pan to smoking hot and place the wrapped fish parcels inside. Reduce heat to lowest and cook covered on either side for 15 minutes each. • Open and serve warm with lemon wedges. 100+ varieties of seafood | Customised cuts | Chemical-free | Supreme quality. Supreme Seafood Home Delivery in chennai