Friday, January 21, 2011

Meen pollichathu (Roasted Fish)

'Meen pollichathu' is an indigenous dish to kerala. Usually its done with karimeen (pearlspot) in plantain leaf. I tried this recipe with tilapia fillets using the ingredients I normally use for prawns masala. It came out very delicious and I thought I should share this.
There are 3 main steps in this recipe:
preparation of fish, preparation of gravy and finally roasting of the parcels made with the fish and gravy.

For marination:
  1. Tilapia fillets-3
  2. Ginger garlic paste-1tsp
  3. Chilly powder-1 tsp
  4. Pepper powder-1/2 tsp
  5. Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
  6. Lemon juice-1tsp
  7. Salt to taste
For gravy:

  1. Onion-2 chopped
  2. Tomato-1 chopped
  3. Ginger- 2 inch piece
  4. Garlic- 3 big cloves
  5. Green chilly-3
  6. Chilly powder- 2tsp
  7. Coriander powder-1 tsp
  8. Fennel powder-1 tsp
  9. Cumin powder-1/4 tsp
  10. Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
  11. Pepper powder-1/2 tsp
  12. Coconut milk-1/2cup
  13. Lemon juice-1.5 tsp
  14. Curry leaves
  15. Salt
  16. Oil
  17. Foil
Step 1: Preparing fish

  1. Clean fish and wipe off any water.
  2. Make a paste of chilly powder, ginger garlic paste, pepper powder and turmeric powder in lemon juice and apply this all over the fish. Marinate for at least 30 min.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and fry the fillets for 5 min each side. After frying keep the fillets aside.

Step 2 : Preparing gravy

  1. Crush ginger, garlic and green chillies (or you can chop them)
  2. Add some more oil into the pan where you fried fillets, splutter mustards and add crushed ginger, garlic and green chillies and curry leaves followed by chopped onions. Saute until the onions turned light brown.
  3. Add all the remaining powders (ingredients 6-11)and saute until you get a nice aroma.
  4. Add chopped tomato, salt and cook covered until it forms a fine paste.
  5. Add coconut milk and saute until you see the oil separates from the coconut milk. The gravy should not be too loose or too thick. Divide it into 6 portions(2 portions goes with each fillet)
Step 3: Preparing fish parcels and roasting:

  1. Cut foil into roughly 30cmx 20cm (enough to wrap one filletsh)
  2. Spread one portion of the gravy on foil.
  3. Keep the fish above the gravy and spread one more layer of gravy above fillet. Keep some onion wedges above that and add 1/2 tsp of lemon juice. Fold foil and make a parcel.
  4. Heat 1/2 tsp of oil(or just spray some oil)in a non stick flat bottomed pan and place these parcels and cook covered in medium heat for 3-5 min each side.
  5. Transfer the fillet along with its gravy to a plate and garnish with lemon, onion or tomatoes.
  • You can do this with any kind of fish fillets. Make gashes if you are using thick fillets.
  • Replace the chilly powder with kashmiri chilly to reduce spiciness


  1. Wow Jincy adipoli aayitundu...looks so inviting.

  2. Absolutely tempting fish pollichathu..Great pics!

  3. I tried this and it was really yummy....