Preparation time : 30 minutes + marination time of 2 hours .
Cooking time : 15 -20 minutes
Serves : 2-3 members
Meen pollichathu . A dish I came to know on my holiday trip to the back waters of gods own country , kumarakom , Kerala . Just loved the rustic appeal to this dish of using the banana leaf to steam fish . The aroma of the banana leaf blends into the fish and it creates pure magic Which is incredibly light , and just as delicious as its deep fried counterpart . Did experiment a lot over this dish , got 60 percent near it but not 100 percent . Again on my visit to meet my beloved friend Sindhu Krishna in Trivandrum , we had lunch at travancore heritage hotel in kovalam and got to taste meen pollichathu once again . This time it was an explosion of flavours on the plate , tasted even better than what I had in kumarakom . Some how managed to get the recipe from the chef and realised that I didn’t sauté the ground masala for marinating the fish . Following this new recipe , gave it a try and wolla it worked pitch perfect . From then on I religiously follow this recipe for meen pollichathu . From kumarakom to kovalam … Some how I managed to get the right recipe and its always gratifying and popular with every one … and is treat for health freaks as its steamed and yummy yum .
|Cleaned Fish||500 grams , ( you could use whole medium sized fish or big slices of a fish . I usually like using Kari meen / black spotted pearl fish )|
|Small onion||1 cup|
|Ginger||1 inch piece|
|Turmeric powder||5 grams|
|Dry Red chillies||7|
|Coconut oil||1/2 cup|
|Banana leaves||3 to 4|
- Clean fish .Grind small onion , ginger , garlic , turmeric powder , dry red chillies , salt to taste along with vinegar to a paste .heat oil , fry the ground masala until oil floats on top and raw smell has gone . Cool completely .
- Apply all over the fish and set aside to marinate for at least 2 hours .apply coconut oil over banana leaves and place over high flame on both sides for the banana leaves to become pile able .
- place the marinated fish over the pile able banana leaves , sprinkle few curry leaves and pack the fish tightly into a parcel .
- Set aside to marinate for another one hour or more .steam in low flame for 15 -20 minutes ( I used my idli steamer ) and serve hot .