Karimeen Pollichathu


Karimeen Pollichathu


1. Pearl spot fish / Karimeen – 1 large ( You can try this with pomphret too)

To Marinate


2. Chilly powder – 1 tsp
    Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
    Pepper powder – 1 tsp

    Crushed ginger-garlic – 1/4 tsp

    Salt – To taste
3. Coconut oil  – To grease the banana leaf

For the masala

4. Pearl onions – 20, thinly sliced
   Green chilies – 2, slit
   Crushed ginger and garlic – 1 tsp
   Curry leaves – 1 sprig

   Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp 
   Chilly powder – 1 tsp
   Pepper powder – 1 tsp

   Fennel seeds – 1 pinch (optional)

   Tomato – 1/2 small, finely chopped
   Salt  – To taste
   Thick coconut milk  – 1/4 cup


1. Clean and wash the fish and make a few gashes on both sides. Marinate the fish with the items under “To Marinate” for at least half an hour. Grease a banana leaf with coconut oil and wrap the fish in it. Lightly fry it in medium-low flame on both sides (about 2 minutes on each side). You do not need to fry the fish until done, this step is done to make the fish firm.



2. Mean while heat oil in a frying pan (you can use the same pan that you used to fry the fish). Add sliced pearl onion, little salt and saute until oil separates. Next add crushed ginger-garlic, green chillies and saute until their raw smell is gone. Add fennel seeds, turmeric powder, chilly powder and pepper powder. Saute for 30 seconds at low heat. Add finely chopped tomato and saute until they turn soft. Now place the fried fish inside the frying pan and coat both sides well with the sautéed masala. Add the thick coconut milk. Cover and cook until all the gravy evaporates and fish is well-coated with the masala on both sides. For a slightly tangy masala, add 1 piece kudam puli / cocum along with the coconut milk.

3. Heat a banana leaf over low flame for a few seconds, so that it will be pliable and won’t tear while wrapping the fish. Grease it. Wrap the masala coated fish in the greased banana leaf and tie with a banana string tightly like a parcel so that steam wont escape. Here is a video that shows how to wrap it in a banana leaf. Cook the fish in a hot pan, about 15 minutes, flipping to the other side in between at medium heat. Serve hot with rice.


You can avoid step 2 (cooking the fish in coconut milk) if you are using a small pearl spot fish.

Baking option – Step 3 – Wrap the fish in an aluminium foil and bake at 350 F for about 20 mts.

Karimeen Pollichathu


Karimeen Pollichathu


Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

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