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Kerala Karimeen pollichathu recipe

Kerala Karimeen pollichathu – Kerala style grilled Pearl spot fish,wrapped in banana leaf .A must try recipe for fish lovers.

Karimeen Pollichathu with lemon wedges
Karimeen Pollichathu with lemon wedges and onion salad

Karimeen Pollichathu

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3


  • 3 medium Karimeen/pearl spot (make few gashes on both the sides of the fish)
  • Coconut oil as required
  • 3 pieces banana leaves cut into squares (approximately 20 to 25 cms)
  • few Green chilies,cut vertically (optional)
  • few Curry leaves

For Marination

  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp Black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder (optional,if not using, increase the amount of black pepper powder)
  • 1 tsp Vinegar/lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
  • Salt to taste

For the onion masala

  • 1.5 tsp Ginger,finely chopped or crushed
  • 1.5 tsp Garlic,finely chopped or crushed
  • 2 to 3 Green chilies,finely chopped ( or according to taste)
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves
  • 1.5 to 2 cups Shallots,sliced
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Black pepper powder
  • 2 to 2.5 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/4 cup Hot water
  • 3/4 cup Tomato,chopped (1 large)
  • 1/2 cup Thick coconut milk
  • 1 tsp Vinegar
  • 1 small pinch Roasted fenugreek powder
  • Salt To taste


  • In a bowl,combine together all the ingredients listed under'For marination'.Rub this onto the fish until evenly coated.Set aside for about 15 to 20 minutes.
    marinating karimeen
  • Heat coconut oil in a pan,add the marinated fish and fry over medium low flame for about 2 to 3 minutes on both the sides.This is just to make the fish firm.Set aside until required.
    karigen pollichathu sautéing
  • Meanwhile heat oil in a pan (you could also use the same pan in which you have fried the fish )add the ginger,garlic,green chilies,curry leaves and shallots.Cook over medium flame until shallots turn golden brown.Add salt to speed up caramelisation.
  • Reduce the flame to low,add turmeric powder,coriander powder,black pepper powder ,kashmiri chili powder and 1/4 cup hot water.Cook ,stirring continuously ,until the masala starts to leaves the sides of the pan.
  • Now add the chopped tomato and cook over medium flame until it turns soft and mushy.
    Sautéing onion
  • Next add the coconut milk and stir to combine.Add vinegar ,fenugreek powder and more salt as required ,mix well.Cook for few more minutes or until the gravy turns thick.Switch off the flame and allow to cool slightly.
    karigen pollichathu-masala
  • Heat the banana leaf over low flame ,to make it pliable.Drizzle few drops of coconut oil on the banana leaf and spread 2 tbsp of the prepared masala on top.
    karimeen pollichathu parcel
  • Place the fried fish on top and spread 2 tbsp of the masala to evenly coat the fish.
    Karimeen Pollichathu-preps
  • Place few curry leaves and green chilies on top.Drizzle few drops of oil and fold the leaf from all the sides to make a parcel.Tie it with a banana fiber or a string.Similarly wrap the remaining fish.
    karimeen parcels
  • Heat a heavy bottomed pan,add 2 tsp oil and place the fish parcels and cook over medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes on both the sides.
    Serve immediately with lemon wedges,sliced tomato and onion.
    frying fish parcels
Keyword fish, kerala food
Karimeen Pollichathu


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