Meen polichathu as the name is a famous dish from kerala, and for all those who don’t understand malalyalam it means roasted fish in Plantain leaf (banana leaf) .You cook this dish such that all the flavours are locked in making it yummy!
Back in kerala at my home we get Fresh fish with all fresh local ingredients grown in our garden... a chef’s heaven ! and at my place no one can match this when my uncle prepares this dish. I still remember, as a kid during my vacations me and my cousins used to drool over his food, but there is a catch he used cook very rarely so we had to wait patiently! And to my good luck he prepared this delicacy during my last visit also :)
Fish is a staple food in mallu cuisine and this is undoubtedly one of the finest delicacies. When i made this i could not find banana leaf here in uk so i used foil.. I managed to prepare it well minus the banana leaf factor!
Like i mentioned earlier food brings people together and it surely did in our home and i miss all those good times we used to have..to all ma folks out there in different corners of the world... love you all....
- 1 kg pomfret, or fish fillets
For the marinade
- 1 tsp pepper powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
For the masala paste and gravy
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp pepper powder
- 1-2 green chillies
- 1 cup button onion (shallots)
- 1 strand curry leaves
- 3- 4 tsp oil
- 1 cup coconut milk ( i used maggi coconut powder -1/2 cup diluted in 1 cup water)
- Clean fish and make gashes/ slits on both sides.
- Rub the fish well with pepper powder, turmeric powder and salt and keep for marination for an hour.
- Meanwhile mix the coriander, chilli, turmeric and pepper powders with a little water to make masala paste.
- Now heat 2 tsp oil ( take a non stick pan coz you need very less oil for such pans) and saute button onions, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
- Fry the fish lightly in the same oil and keep aside.
- Take a pan and add 1 tbsp oil and add mustard seeds , when they splutter add the masala paste and saute for a 2-3 minutes.
- To this add the marinated fish and coconut milk. also add the
- sauted button onions, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves. Simmer on low heat until fish is coated with gravy.
- Wrap each fish in a piece of plantain leaf or greased foil and bake at 350ºF for 20 minutes. Serve hot.