Step 1: - Ingredients for Marinating and roasting the fish:
- 1 whole fish cleaned, preferably Karimeen (pearl Spots); Pomfret,Tilapia
- 3 tsp chilli powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp pepper powder
- ¼ tsp ginger paste
- ¼ tsp garlic paste
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil) for frying
- 1 cup finely chopped red pearl onions/small onions (around 20-22 nos)
- 1 ¼ tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 6-8 finely chopped green chillies
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- A pinch of turmeric powder
- A pinch of chilli powder
- 2 tbsp coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
- ¼ cup thick coconut milk
- Salt to taste
- Banana Leaf - big enough to wrap the fish from all the sides.
- Make 4-5 slits on the cleaned fish; mix chilli powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder, ginger and garlic paste, lemon juice and salt with 1-2 tsp of water to make a thick paste and marinate the fish evenly on both sides and keep it for atleast 2 hours. The slits made on the fish will help the marinade to penetrate into the fish during this time.
- Heat oil in a flat non-stick pan and place the fish, when the oil is steaming hot. Shallow fry the fish at medium heat by flipping each side when it is almost done; do not make it too crispy and do not overcook ; it should be soft and moist as the same fish is cooked again at the final stage. When the fish is done, (at this stage the oil will stop spluttering) transfer it to the gravy on the banana leaf,instructions for which follow.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and sauté the chopped small onions, ginger, green chilies and curry leaves, in low heat, until they are cooked and golden brown in colour and add a pinch of turmeric powder and chilli powder to get a roasted colour. At this stage, add the thick coconut milk (Users of canned coconut milk need to dilute it by adding some water- for eg: 3 tbsp of coconut milk & add 2tbsp water) and salt and mix well to make the gravy; just combine the gravy well and turn off the stove; do not boil/cook it at all.
- Mildly wilt the fresh and washed banana leaf by keeping it on a low flame; Place it in a large flat non-stick pan; Make a thin bed with half of the gravy and keep the roasted fish and top it with the rest of the gravy. Cover and wrap the fish completely by folding the banana leaf, from all the sides and place a lid on top and let it cook for 10-15 minutes on low flame, until the gravy is thick.
- Serve hot with rice. You may wilt one more banana leaf and wrap it again before serving, to make it look like 'banana leaf parcels'.
This post is a tribute to my grandma and hence my contribution for FAHC Campaign and Group Cookbook Project. Hope it meets all the criteria.
Thanks for reading this loooooooong post :)