Kerala Style Meen Pollichath in oven | Black pomfret pollichath

Hi there, Today I am sharing a simple and delicious Kerala style meen pollichath.Meen pollichathu starts by marinating the fish in simple turmeric powder, ginger garlic, fennel powder, lemon juice, red chilli powder and salt marinade. The fish is then lightly fried and kept aside. Then we make a spicy and tangy masala. Nothing complicated here. Just some curry leaves, shallots, ginger, tomatoes and coconut milk. all cooked with Indian spices.

This masala is spread on a piece of banana leaf, the fish is placed on top and more masala is spread on top. The banana leaf is wrapped tightly around the fish, making a little parcel. Now, I don’t have banana leaves here and so, I simply decided to bake the foil-wrapped masala fish parcels in the oven. The fish is baked with all the goodness of the spicy Kerala masala, which coats the fish all over. Once done, the flesh is flaky, moist and just perfect! Be sure to serve it with hot, steamed rice. I used the traditional red ‘matta‘ rice, which goes wonderfully with the fish. Let us get started guys...
Watch my youtube video :

Ingredients required in this recipe:
For marination:
  1. Fish- 600 gms, avoli(Black pomfret) cleaned, washed.
  2. Turmeric powder-1/2 teaspoon.
  3. Fennel powder-1/4 Teaspoon.
  4. Red chilli powder-2 teaspoon.
  5. Black pepper powder-1/2 Teaspoon.
  6. Ginger garlic paste - 1 Tablespoon.
  7. Lemon juice-2 tablespoon.
  8. Salt to taste.

For masala:
  1. Coconut oil-2 Tablespoon. (+ for frying fish)
  2. Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 Teaspoon.
  3. Green chilies-3 numbers, chopped.
  4. Curry leaves- few.
  5. Shallots or onion-1 cup, chopped.
  6. Turmeric powder-1/4 teaspoon.
  7. Fennel powder-1/4 Teaspoon.
  8. Red chilli powder-1/2 teaspoon
  9. Black pepper-1/2 teaspoon, crushed.
  10. Garam masala powder-1/2 Teaspoon.
  11. Coconut milk-1/4 cup
  12. Tomato -  1 Large (chopped.)
  13. Aluminium foil or banana leaf for baking.

Method of preparation:
  1. Mix all ingredients under marination and apply the marination to the cleaned fish.
  2. Keep this in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  3. Heat a pan with coconut oil. Saute ginger garlic paste, green chillies and curry leave for few seconds.
  4. Add chopped shallots and salt to taste. Saute them well for a few minutes. 
  5. Then add spice powders (turmeric powder, red chilli powder, fennel powder,garam masala powder and crushed black pepper.)
  6. Mix well for few seconds until the raw smell of the spices goes.
  7. Now add coconut milk and cook until the masala thickens.
  8. Add in sliced tomato and cook it well.
  9. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius and tear off a large piece of foil for baking the fish.
  10. To assemble, place some of the cooked masalas in the centre of the foil. Place the fish on top and spread some more masala over it. Tightly cover the fish with the foil and pinch the edges closed to create a sealed parcel. 
  11. Place the fish parcels in a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove the parcels from the oven and open carefully (it will be hot!).
  12. To serve, spoon the fish and masala on to a plate and serve hot with steamed matta rice, lime wedges and a few slices of fresh red onion.

If you have banana leaves, select a large piece of leaf for each fish parcel. Pass the leaf directly over a low flame on the gas stove. This will help you to fold the leaves over the fish and not break them. Tie the banana leaf fish parcel with a piece of kitchen twine or the fibre of a banana leaf, as is done in a traditional Kerala kitchen! And if you don't have an oven you can cook on top of Tawa.