Sunday, July 23, 2017

Baked Pearl Spot Fish in Kerala Spices/ Baked Karimeen pollichathu/ Meen pollichathu

Baked fish or karimeen pollichathu is a traditional Kerala delicacy which I would love to eat in restaurants in Kerala. This is my all time favorite, which is available in different shapes, varieties, and sizes in different restaurants. We can make these at home, but whenever we get this pearl spot fish, we will end up making a Kerala curry or fry. Rarely we will do this pollichathu on special occasions.

Keralites love for fish is well known. Meen pollichathu is one classic dish which will be loved by all and this one is made using a fish which is called as “karimeen” or “pearl spot fish”. We can make this pollichathu with other varieties of fish but this pearl spot tastes delicious for this type of preparation.

“Karimeen” is the name of the fish and “pollichathu” means burnt or fried. It’s been 2 years since we ate this pearl spot fish. Here in the US, very rarely we can see any pearl spot fish in frozen section.We will get all other varieties of fishes in the Indian store, but this time luckily we got it and the first thing that came to my mind is to make this dish, which we didn’t have for 2 long years.

In this “ meen pollichathu” fish is first fried and then wrapped in foil along with the onion masala and baked till done. Instead of baking, we can roast on a pan. We can directly roast the fish without frying as I did in my earlier post of karimeen pollichathu.
Traditionally the fish is wrapped in banana leaf and then fried. The banana leaf gives a unique flavor to the fish which penetrates into the fish and the aroma of the banana leaf is divine which makes the dish more appetizing and mouth watering. Here as it is difficult to find a banana leaf, I used aluminum foil. Try this out and let me know.

  1. Pearl Spot Fish- 4 nos
To Fry:
  1. Red Chilli Powder- 4 tbsp
  2. Turmeric Powder- 2 tsp
  3. Salt- as required
  4. Ginger and Garlic Paste- 1 tbsp
  5. Oil- 2 tbsp
For Gravy:
  1. Onions (chopped)- 2 nos
  2. Tomatoes (chopped)- 3 nos
  3. Lemon Juice- 1 tbsp
  4. Curry Leaves- few
  5. Pepper powder- 1 tbsp
  6. Oil- 1 tsp

  1. Clean, wash and pat dry the pearl spot fish well. Make slits on both the sides of the fish. Keep this aside.
  2. Mix the red chili powder, turmeric powder, ginger- garlic paste, and salt, by adding a little water. Smear this masala paste on the pat dried fish and keep this aside for 30 minutes.
  3. Shallow fry the fish in 2 tbsp of oil just for about 5- 7 minutes on flipping both the sides and drain them on a kitchen towel.
  4. Meanwhile, for the gravy, heat oil in a pan, add the chopped onions and stir fry till it becomes translucent.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, when they turn mushy, add the lemon juice and the above made remaining masala paste. Stir well till everything gets combined well.
  6. Add the curry leaves along with pepper powder and salt. Mix and switch off the flame.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Take an aluminum foil to wrap the fish. Place 2 tbsp of the above-made gravy in the middle of the foil, place the fried fish on the gravy and place another 2 tbsp of the gravy on top of the fish, Place a lemon wedge on top and wrap the fish using foil.
  9. Repeat with the remaining fried fish and bake for about 20- 25 minutes on a baking tray. Enjoy with hot steaming rice.


  1. OMG! it looks so delicious!

    But why aren't you using some tool to make recipe cards for your recipes?
    Here is a good one with nice features:

  2. yummm, looks delicious! new Idea to cook fish,

  3. Karimeen polichathu is such a soul satisfying dish for the malayalees. The fish looks delicious and so drool worthy.


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