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GOK #41: Mathi Pollichathu

GOK #41: Mathi Pollichathu
Learn how to make this yummy Kerala style sardine preparation. The fish tastes really good, spicy, moist, and with a lovely aroma from the banana leaf. Enjoy this with nadan matta rice.

Sardines,cleaned - 8 nos
Shallots /chumanulli,sliced - 3/4 cup
Ginger,chopped - 1 tbsp
Garlic,chopped - 1 tbsp
Green chilies,chopped - 3 nos( or to taste)
Kashmiri chili powder - 1.5 tsp(or use 3/4 tsp chili powder)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Tomato,chopped - 1 small
Thick coconut milk - 1/2 cup
Curry leaves - 3 to 4 sprigs
Salt- to taste
Oil- as required
Plantain leaves - 4 to 5 nos

For Marination:
Kashmiri chili powder - 1 tsp( or use 1/2 tsp chili powder)
Black pepper powder-1 tsp(or according to taste)
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Water - as required
Salt-to taste

Make deep gashes on both sides of the fish. Combine all the ingredients listed under 'For marination' to form a thick paste. Marinate the fish with this masala. Keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes.

Heat oil in a pan,add 2 sprigs curry leaves and add the sardines.Fry  until it turns golden brown on both the sides,turning once in between.

Drain and keep aside. Add ginger, garlic and green chilies to the same oil,and saute until raw smell leaves.

Add shallots and saute until it turns golden brown. Add kashmiri chili powder and turmeric powder, saute for few seconds.

Add tomato and salt to taste. Saute until it turns mushy.

Add coconut milk and remaining curry leaves.

Mix well and cook until the gravy turns thick. Switch off the stove and allow it to cool a bit.

To make the banana leaf pliable,hold the it over the flame for few seconds.Place one or two tbsp of the prepared masala on a leaf and arrange (two or three) sardines over this.Cover the fish with more masala and wrap the leaf around to form a parcel.

Heat a heavy bottomed tava /pan and ,place the parcels carefully on the tava. Cook for about 10-15 minutes,turning once in between.

Enjoy this with nadan matta rice.

Courtesy:  Mary Abraham