Meen Ilayil Pollichathu - Fish Roasted in Banana Leaf
Meen Ilayil Pollichathu - Fish Roasted in Banana Leaf

Meen Pollichathu – It’s a traditional Kerala dish prepared (steaming/ frying) by wrapping fried fish with spicy masala in banana leaf.

Usually Meen Pollichathu is prepared with Pearl Spot Fish (കരിമീൻ). But this recipe suits for any soft flesh fishes like King Fish (നെയ്‌ മീൻ), മോദ, Pomfret (ആവോലി) and even with Sardine (ചാള/മത്തി).

Vaazhayila (Banana leaf) is very much related to Kerala food – preparing food with Banana leaves and even for serving food on it. Hot food in Banana leaves releases a nice flavour to the food. In olden days, food was served in Banana leaves instead of plates and food parcels were also wrapped in wilted leaves.

Here I’m using fish fillets of a soft fish (Modha) instead of Pearl Spot. Fully cleaned fish can be used along with head and tail if Pearl Spot fish is used.

Best Combination

  • Steamed Rice
  • Chapati
  • Appam

Meen Pollichathu | Kari Meen Pollichathu | Fish in Banana Leaf

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Serves: 2 Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • 1. 2 Whole fish (Pearlspot) - 2 Nos (200 gm each)
  • --- For marination ---
  • 2. Pepper powder - 1/4 Teaspoon
  • 3. Turmeric powder - 1/4 Teaspoon
  • 4. Red chilly powder - 1 Tablespoon
  • 5. Salt - As required for marinating
  • --- For masala ---
  • 6. Fenugreeek seeds - 1 Pinch (Uluva)
  • 7. Ginger - 1/2 Tablespoon - Crushed
  • 8. Garlic - 1/2 Tablespoon - Crushed
  • 9. Shallots/ Onion (ചുവന്നുള്ളി) - 1 1/2 Cup - Chopped
  • 10. Green chilly - 2 Nos - Sliced
  • 11. Curry leaves - 1 Spring
  • 12. Gambooge - 1 Piece (Kudampuli)
  • 13. Turmeric powder - 1/4 Teaspoon
  • 14. Chilly powder - 1 Teaspoon
  • 15. Coriander powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
  • 16. Tomato - 1/4 Cup - Chopped
  • 17. Coconut milk - 1/2 Cup
  • 18. Salt - As required
  • 19. Coconut oil - As required


  1. Marinate the fish with ingredients 2-5 and keep it for 10 minutes.
  2. Shallow fry the fish in coconut oil and keep aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and splutter fenugreek seeds.
  4. Add ingredients 7 -12 and saute till shallots become golden brown color.
  5. Add ingredients 13 – 15 and saute till the raw smell of the powders go off. Keep low flame to not get it burned.
  6. Add tomato and saute till it become soft and mushy. Keep the pan covered to make the tomatoes soft soon.
  7. Add coconut milk and saute till the masala become thick.
  8. Take one wilted banana leaf, place some masala and place one fried fish on top of that and put some more masala.
  9. Fold the banana leaf and make a packet. Tie with a string if needed.
  10. Make packets with the other fish also.
  11. Heat a tawa/ skillet/ earthen kadai and drizzle some coconut oil and place the fish packets and cook both sides for 7 minutes in a low flame.
  12. Switch off the flame and serve after 6 – 7 minutes without opening the packets.
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• Using shallots gives better taste than onion. • Wilt the banana leaf before wrapping fish. So that leaf will not break while wrapping. • Sprinkle water in hot tawa before putting the fish so that the fish will absorb the flavours of banana leaf.

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