How to Make Meen Pollichathu - Fish fry in plantain leaves:
Wash and clean fish fillets, and make 4 or 5 slits on the it. You can also use whole fish like pomfrets.
Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together and make a thick paste.
Apply this masala on both sides of the fish and marinate it for at least an hour.
For whole fish, apply masala inside the slits too, so it will penetrate inside.
Heat oil in a pan on low heat and place the fish.
Fry both sides till slightly roasted, remove and set aside. It should not become crispy or overcooked. Continue with all the fillets.
Heat some more oil in the same pan, add seasoning ingredients and fry.
Add chopped onion and saute it till it gets a golden colour.
Now add green chilli and saute it for 2 minutes on medium heat.
Add minced ginger and garlic and saute, then add tomatoes and cook till they become soft.
At this stage, add red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, fennel seed powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and salt. Mix well and cook it on low heat until oil separates from masala.
Adjust spice and salt to taste.
Add coconut milk and cook till it blends nicely with masala. There is no need to add water.
Finally add lemon juice and mix well.
Turn off the heat. Garnish with cilantro.
Take a washed and cleaned plantain leaf, pour a little gravy on it and place the roasted fish in it. Pour some more gravy on top of the fish.
Cover and wrap the fish with the plantain leaf like a closed parcel.
Heat a tawa or pan, add 1tsp of oil and place the wrapped fish in it. Cover and cook on low heat for 3 minutes, then flip the wrap and cook for another 3 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with steamed rice.