Ria's Collection: MEEN POLLICHATHU WITH VINDALOO MASALA

Saturday, December 1, 2018

MEEN POLLICHATHU WITH VINDALOO MASALA

Meen Pollichathu (1)
Ilove fish and my family loves it too! I try to cook with fish as often as I can. It's almost always as a Meen Vevichathu or Meen Varuthathu. I've been making Fish Moilee quite a few times over the last few weeks along with homemade bread. There's something so comforting in that combination. This Meen Pollichathu is a made with a twist from the traditional one.
Meen Pollichathu (6)
When I posted a photo of this dish on Instagram, I received a lot of questions regarding where to buy banana leaves here. I buy it from Oriental stores and I've seen it at Malayali store around Onam. We rarely shop at our Malayali store. These leaves come frozen in small trays. I find them very handy. Just pull out how much you need and the rest can stay in the freezer. The leaf is limp because it's frozen so we can use it without taming it over fire.
Meen Pollichathu final
Meen Pollichathu is best made with Karimeen.Even though we get them here in frozen form, I rarely buy it. The last time I bought it was when Appa & Amma came here for Christmas last year. Amma made a Karimeen Mappas with it and it was delicious!! This recipe uses a slightly different masala and uses sambar tamarind instead of Kudampuli. It's a very quick dish to make, just like most fish recipes and has a charm to it because it's wrapped and served in banana leaf.
MEEN POLLICHATHU WITH VINDALOO MASALA
Meen Pollichathu (6)
Ingredients:
400 grams cleaned fish
2 sprigs curry leaves
3/4 teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon vinegar*
1 cup sliced pearl onions
4 tablespoon oil

Grind together:
1 tablespoon Kashmiri red chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
4-5 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon tamarind pulp (homemade)
8 pearl onions

Method: Heat 3 tbsp oil and crackle mustard seeds and curry leaves. Saute the ground ingredients, till the oil separates. Add the shallots, stir well and pour the vinegar and salt. Add the fish and move it gently to coat the pieces with masala.

In an oil paper or banana leaf *, arrange the fish with its masala. Pour the remaining 1 tbsp oil over it and fold into a neat parcel /parcels. Put the parcels into a dish and bake at 400 F till the outside is golden for about 30 minutes. Once it's baked, take it out, open the parcel and serve hot !

* Use your own judgement here because we are already using tamarind pulp.
*If you are using fresh banana leaves, you will have to tame it over fire. 'Vaati edukukka'.
*You can cook this on the stovetop as well. Cook on medium flame for 8-10 mins flipping once in between till the leaves are a bit brown.
Mrs. B.F.Varghese's cookbooks are a very common sight in most Malayali households in Kerala.I have them too and I found this recipe from one of them. It's name intrigued me at first and then when I remembered the frozen banana leaves that I had been hoarding for a while, I decided to make use of it. Ian gave me the biggest thumbs up ever and said that the fish is very good! Jobin said the same too! I used Tilapia filets for making these and hence the tiny packages. The recipe was meant for one piece of fish. This is a very good twist to traditional Meen Pollichathu. Do give it a try sometime during this festive season!

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