Karimeen Pollichathu – Pearl Spot Fish Fry

  • Yield : 250 gm
  • Servings : 2
  • Prep Time : 30m
  • Cook Time : 15m
  • Ready In : 45m

Karimeen Pollichathu or Pearl spot fish fry or Pearl spot fish baked/grilled in Banana leaves is one of the authentic dish of Kerala. Pearl spot is a fresh water fish found manly in the backwaters of Kerala. Pollichathu means burnt fish. This fish is wrapped in banana leaf and grilled.This dish is prepared by frying fish by wrapping it in banana leaves and if you do not have banana leaves then you can even use aluminium foil.

Meen Pollichathu tastes excellent with variety rice, parotta etc. Banana leaves gives a unique flavour and mouth watering taste.This is a very delicate Fish which will be ready in about 10 minutes cooking time apart from the time required for cooking gravy.

Karimeen which is also known as Pearl Spot fish or Green chromide is a freshwater fish found in southern India, especially in back waters of Kerala. It’s a species of Cichild family and Etroplus genus. This fish is locally known as Karimeen in Malayalam. Karimeen was officially announced as the state fish of Kerala in the year 2010. Karimeen has the power to tingle our taste buds and you would surely crave for more. Karimeen is considered a delicacy and found throughout Kerala, especially in the backwaters of Alleppey. Available throughout the year and it is caught mainly using gillnets. Some of the popular dishes are Karemeen Fry, Karemeen Molly and Karemeen Pollichathu.

Karimeen is a highly nutritive fish. Along with a good amount of meat Karimeen also includes fat, phosphorus, calcium, ash, iron and water. Fat: 17.5 percent, Phosphorus: 1.65 percent, Calcium: 0.50 percent, Ash: 1.08 percent, Iron: 4.90 percent, Water: 79.70 percent.


  • Karimeen/Pearl Spot - 2 nos
  • Kashmiri Chilly Powder - 2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/2tsp
  • Pepper powder - 1/2tsp
  • Ginger - 1 tsp (chopped)
  • Garlic - 2 tsp (chopped)
  • Green chilly - 2 nos
  • Big Onion - 1 small (sliced)
  • Shallots - 10 nos (sliced)
  • Tomato - 1 small (chopped)
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon Juice -1 tbsp
  • Curry leaves - 2 stem
  • Coconut Oil - 5 tbsp
  • Thick coconut milk - 3 tbs
  • Banana Leaves - for wrapping


Step 1

Clean the fish and wash them with salt, lemon juice and water and make slits on them.

Step 2

Now make a paste of 1 tsp chilly powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp pepper powder, salt and lemon juice. Marinate the fish with this paste and keep aside for at least 30 minutes.

Step 3

Heat 3 tbsp of coconut oil in a pan and shallow fry the fish for 2 minutes in each side.

Step 4

Now grind garlic, ginger, 1 tsp chilly powder, green chilly, curry leaves, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and salt together by adding less amount of water and make a very fine paste. Masala paste is ready.

Step 5

Now heat 2 tsp of coconut oil add sliced onion and sliced shallots to this and saute well.

Step 6

At this stage add the masala paste and saute well. Add chopped tomatoes, salt and saute well. Add thick coconut milk to this and mix well. Remove from the fire and let it cool for 5 minutes. Masala is ready.

Step 7

Now take banana leaves and wash with water. Cut into medium sized pieces. Soften the leaves by putting over the flame for a second, so that the leaf wont break while wrapping.

Step 8

Place a layer of masala on banana leaf and place the fish over and spread a second layer. Carefully wrap the leaf and tie it. Now take a heavy bottomed fry pan and heat 1 tsp of oil and place one piece of banana leaf and place the wrapped fish on top of that .

Step 9

Cover the fry pan and cook each side for 10 minutes in low flame. Karimeen pollichathu is ready to serve.

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