Meen pollichathu/ Fish fry in plantain leaf wrap

This is a "must try" aromatic & tasty recipe from Kerala  usually done with fresh fish "Pearl spot fish" which is karimeen in Malayalam & Paraimeen in Tamil, marinated with different spices & cooked in banana leaf. 

Fish fillets - 4 ( Any veriety of fish can be used, I used Tilapia fillets)
Oil - For frying
Plantain leaves-  4 ( to wrap the fish)
Cilantro - For Garnishing

For Fish Marination:
Lemon juice - 2 tsp or to taste
Chicken 65 powder - 1 tsp or to taste
Red chili powder - 2tsp
Corainder powder - 11/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4tsp
Salt - to taste

For Gravy:
Onion  - 2 ( chopped finely) or pearl onion-1cup
Tomato - 2 (chopped finely)
Green chili - 1( small, minced) optional
Ginger - 1" minced
Garlic - 5~6 pods minced
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder - 2 tsp or to taste
Coriander powder - 1 1/4 tsp or to taste
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Fennel powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp or to taste
Coconut milk - 2 tbsp ( optional)
Salt to taste

For Seasoning:
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - As required


Fish fry
Wash & clean fish fillets, You can also use whole fish like Pomfret fish... Just do 4 ~5 slit on the fish.Mix all marinate ingredients together & make a thick paste.Apply masala on both the sides of the fish and rest it for minimum 1hour.For whole fish,  apply masala inside the slits also, so it will penetrate inside the fish too.Heat Oil in a pan at low heat & place the fish.Fry on both side til slightly roasted & keep it ready, don't want to fry fish too crispy or overcook as we do for normal fish fry. Continue with all the fillets.

For Gravy:
Heat oil in the same pan, add seasoning ingredients as listed.Add chopped onion & saute it till onion turns to golden transparent color.Now add green chili & saute it for 2 minutes in medium heat.Add minced ginger & garlic & saute it until raw smell disappear, then add tomatoes and cook until they become soft.At this stage, add red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, fennel seed powder, turmeric powder,garam masala powder & salt. Mix well and cook it in low heat until oil separates from masala.Adjust spice & salt to taste. Add coconut milk & cook it till its blend nicely with masala, no need to add water.Finally add lemon juice & mix well. Turn off the heat. Garnish with till cilantro & keep it ready for wrap.
Cooking in plantain leaf wrap or final stage.

Take a desired size plantain leaf to wrap the fish on all the sides. Wash the leaf,  Place little gravy over it & keep the roasted fish on it. Then again keep little gravy on the fish.Cover & wrap the fish with the plantain leaf like a closed parcel.Heat a tawa or pan, add 1 tsp of oil & place the fish wrap & cover the pan with the lid.Cook it in low heat for 3minutes & then flip the fish wrap and cook it for another 3 minutes.Garnish with cilantro & serve hot with steamed white rice.Note: If you are using fresh plantain leaf, it will be quite diffcult to pack fhe fish, so to make it flexible, cut the centre rib & directely keep the leaves on the electric coil in low heat or on a hot vessel or plate. becareful not to brun them. I kept the leave on the lid of the hot pan for 2 minutes.

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