Kerala Recipes/ Kerala-Seafood/ Seafood/Fish recipes/ Side dish-without gravy-Seafood/ Snacks

Mathi Pollichathu | Grilled Sardines in banana leaf

Mathi pollichathu

Recipe source :Magic Oven, Lakshmi Nair
Spicy grilled sardines wrapped with banana leaf.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3 to 4 people

  1. Sardines,cleaned – 8 nos( see notes)
  2. Shallots /chumanulli,sliced – 3/4 cup
  3. Ginger,chopped – 1 tbsp
  4. Garlic,chopped – 1 tbsp
  5. Green chilies,chopped – 3 nos( or to taste)
  6. Kashmiri chili powder – 1.5 tsp(or use 3/4 tsp chili powder)
  7. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  8. Tomato,chopped – 1 small
  9. Thick coconut milk – 1/2 cup
  10. Curry leaves – 3 to 4 sprigs
  11. Salt- to taste
  12. Oil- as required
  13. Plantain leaves – 4 to 5 nos

For Marination:

  1. Kashmiri chili powder – 1 tsp( or use 1/2 tsp chili powder)
  2. Black pepper powder-1 tsp(or according to taste)
  3. Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  4. Water – as required
  5. Salt-to taste


  • Make deep gashes on both sides of the fish.Combine all the ingredients listed under ‘For marination’ to form a thick paste.Marinate the fish with this masala.Keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a pan ,add 2 sprigs curry leaves and add the sardines.Fry  until it turns golden brown on both the sides,turning once in between.

  • Drain and keep aside.Add ginger , garlic and green chilies to the same oil,and saute until raw smell leaves.

  • Add shallots( i used onion) and saute until it turns golden brown.Add kashmiri chili powder and turmeric powder,saute for few seconds.

  • Add tomato and salt to taste .Saute until it turns mushy.

  • Add coconut milk and remaining curry leaves.

  • Mix well and cook until the gravy turns thick.Switch off the stove and allow it to cool a bit.

  • To make the banana leaf pliable,hold the it over the flame for few seconds.Place one or two tbsp of the prepared masala on a leaf and arrange (two or three) sardines over this.Cover the fish with more masala and wrap the leaf around to form a parcel.
  • Heat a heavy bottomed tava /pan and ,place the parcels carefully on the tava.Cook for about 10-15 minutes,turning once in between.

    • I used only 6 sardines and kept the quantity for the remaining ingredients the same,as we wanted it to be spicy.

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