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 - ¼tsp
Salt - to taste
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 - ¼ tsp
Red chili powder - 2 tsp or to taste
Coriander powder - 1 ¼ tsp or to taste
Cumin powder - ½ tsp
Fennel powder - ½ tsp
Garam masala - ¼ tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp or to taste
Coconut milk - 2 tbsp ( optional)
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - ½ tsp
cumin seeds - ¼ tsp
Fenugreek seeds - ¼ tsp
Curry leaves - As required
- 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.
- 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.