Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Karimeen Pollichathu

Karimmen Pollichathu or PerlSpot in Banana leaves is a local toddy shop specialty which has now become a signature houseboat dish as well. large sized Karimeen is perfect for this recipe.You can substitute with Kingfish steaks or pomfret .
The process for cooking this dish is a bit tedious and it takes a while to prepare ,but the saying that goes "Good things come to those who wait " is true when you think of the end result .It is totaly worth the effort.You need fresh fish for this recipe .

  1. Karimeen / Pearl spot - 2 whole scaled ,cleaned , scored and washed
  2. Chopped ginger - 1 tbsp
  3. chopped garlic - 1 tbsp
  4. Green chillies - 2 slit
  5. Shallots - 2 cups chopped
  6. Kashmiri chilly powder - 2.5 tbsp
  7. Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  8. pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  9. Fennel powder - a pinch
  10. Fenugreek - few
  11. Tomatoes -2
  12. Curry leaves - 3 springs
  13. Thick coconut milk - 1/2 cup
  14. Banana leaves - to wrap the fish
  15. Oil - to shallow fry the fish and saute masala
  16. Salt to taste
  17. Vinegar - 1 tsp

Wash drain and pat the fish dry. Apply a marinade of 1 tbsp chilly powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric , 1 tsp vinegar and salt to taste to the fish and keep aside for 30 minutes.
Heat 3 tbsp of coconut oil in a nonstick frying pan and fry the fish lightly , no need to cook it completely , just get a nice sear on the outside.
Remove the fish from the pan and keep aside.
To prepare the masala for fish use the same pan that you used to fry the fish - add curry leaves , ginger, garlic ,slit green chillies and shallots and saute until the shallots are soft and starting to turn a light brown .
Reduce the flame and add 1.5 tbsp chilli powder, black pepper powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, fennel powder and fry till the raw smell is gone.
add chopped tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes are cooked , add salt to taste and pour in the thick coconut milk and bring to a simmer .The masala should be thick in consistency and should be able to coat the fish .
Turn the flame off and keep the masala aside.
To wrap the fish in banana leaves - cut the leaves into medium large pieces hold the leaves over the flame for few seconds so that it becomes limp and pliable, it is easier to wrap the fish in it once it is heated.

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 .

Heat a pan that has a lid and add in 2 tbsp of oil and place the wrapped fish in it and cook covered on a medium low flame for about 15 - 20 minutes, flip in between .
Serve with sliced lemon.


  1. Omg, super delicious and irresistible dish..

  2. I love making these. They are absolutely delicious

  3. iyyyyoooooo kothiyaye..Adipoli.


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