Meen Pulichattu is a dry preparation where the fish fillet or slice is first marinated and pan-fried, and then wrapped in a banana leaf along with a dry chili based gravy and again shallow fried to perfection to enhance the flavors of the leaf as well as the spicy gravy into the fish.
Step by step recipe of Meen Pullichattu
Meen Pullichattu ~ Fish cooked in Banana leaves
- 500 grams of King Fish or Pomfret or any other fish fillet of your choice
- 2 large fresh Banana Leaves
- 10 toothpicks to secure the wrapper leaves or as required
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil for frying and cooking
For *Fish Fry Masala: (grind together to a smooth dry paste)
- 10-15 dry red chilies soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
- 10 curry leaves
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp roasted cumin
- ¼ tsp roasted methi seeds fenugreek
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup or little more of water
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 cup finely chopped tomato
- 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped green chili or as per taste
- 8 curry leaves
- 2 tablespoons *Fish Fry Masala mentioned in above list
- ½ cup finely chopped coriander leaves
- 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons of coconut oil or any other vegetable oil
For fried fish
- Before washing the fish pieces, sprinkle 4 to 5 tablespoons of salt and a pinch of turmeric powder on it. Coat well and set aside for 10 minutes. Wash the fish pieces thoroughly and drain out all the water. This process will remove any unpleasant smell in the fish. Marinate the fish pieces in the 2 or 3 tablespoons of fish fry masala for 1 hour.
- In a frying pan, heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of coconut or vegetable oil. Shallow fry the marinated fish pieces on both sides. (5 minutes on each side)
- Heat coconut oil in a saucepan. Add chopped onion, ginger, garlic, curry leaves, and green chilies and saute all of them till soft and dark pink.
- Now add chopped tomatoes and cook till they are well combined with onion.
- Add 2 tablespoons of fish fry masala, tamarind pulp, and salt.
- Add a few drops of water if needed or if the spices stick to the pan. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes or till the oil separates.
- Finally, add chopped coriander leaves and stir well.
- Set aside to cool down slightly.
- Place two pieces of banana leaves overlapping each other as shown in the picture.
- Pour a spoonful of gravy on the center of the leaves spreading slightly.
- Place a fried fish fillet on the gravy and some curry leaves and coriander leaves on top.
- Pour another spoonful of gravy over the fried fish, and very neatly and carefully wrap the ends of the banana leaves and secure the ends with toothpicks.
- Heat a pan with some vegetable oil and fry the fish wrapped in banana leaves on low flame for 10 minutes. (5 minutes on each side)
- Now the fish is ready to be served.
- Unwrap the fish just before serving. (You can keep them warm in a preheated oven @100 degrees centigrade)
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