Monday, May 4, 2015

Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf | Meen Pollichathu | Fish Fry in Banana Leaf | Vazhai Ilai Meen

Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf | Meen Pollichathu | Fish Fry in Banana Leaf | Vazhai Ilai Meen is a healthy option for fish lovers, that too who prefer fried fish rather than curry fish. This is more like steaming fish in banana leaf. Though Karimmen (Pearl Spot fish) Pollichathu is our family’s favourite, I didn’t  plan for preparing any special dish last week when I bought koduva | barramundi fish. When I was marinating  the fish with spices, I got an idea of preparing this fish fry in banana leaf as I got some left-over  banana leaves which I bought for Panguni Uththiram, the previous day. I followed the simple recipe, yet it turned out to be so yummy. This is mainly due to the flavours of banana leaf which really enhanced the taste & aroma of the dish. The fish potlis looked so cute on the serving plate and tasted real yum. We enjoyed it as a starter with onion rings & tomatoes and got vanished like flash in the pan.
  • Fish – 5 pieces
  • Banana leaves – as required
  • Oil – 2 tbsp for frying
  • Onion, cilantro, tomato – for garnishing

For marination:
  • Red chilli  powder – 1 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
  • Pepper powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp
  • Thick tamarind paste – 1 tsp
  • Oil- 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste

  1. Clean & wash the fish pieces using water with turmeric and curd.
  2. Add the ingredients kept for marinating and mix everything well to form a paste. Add few drops of water, if needed, to make a thick paste.
  3. Apply this masala paste on the fish pieces and marinate in the refrigerator for an hour.
  4. In the mean time, wash the banana leaves and dry them.  Check the leaves by folding them to ensure that they are flexible enough to wrap the fish, without tearing. If they are thick and tend to tear while folding, switch on the flame and show the banana leaves over the flame for few seconds, just to make it tender. Don’t overdo this to change the colour of the leaves. Normally tender leaves won’t get torn while folding.
  5. Cut the leaves into big squares to wrap the fish pieces.
  6. Place the single fish piece with some marinade, in the centre of each banana leaf and fold on all the sides to form a potli or packet. Tie it with twain or thread. Repeat for other fish pieces and prepare the potlis | packets.
  7. In a non stick pan, add 2 tbsp of oil and heat.
  8. When the oil is hot, arrange the fish potlis on the pan and keep it closed.  Cook  the fish in simmer for about 5 minutes. Then carefully flip the fish to other side and cook covered for 5 minutes. Repeat again with both sides twice or thrice & cook covered until done. This will take 20 to 25 minutes in simmer.

Tasty fish potlis are ready to relish. Enjoy the bite with any of your favourite side | dip or with hot, steamed rice & fish curry...
  • Care should be taken while flipping the fish potlis.
  • You can add any spice | masala of your choice and proceed with the same cooking process but marination part is very much essential.

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