How to make Karimeen Polichathu -

One of the most popular dishes from Kerala – it’s absolutely lip smacking.

Sanjeev Kapoor

This is a Sanjeev Kapoor exclusive recipe.

Main Ingredients : Pearl Spot (karimeen) , Coconut (नारियल)

Cuisine : Kerala

Course : Main Course Seafood

You can also find more Main Course Seafood recipes like Prawns with Chilli Ginger Sesame Fish Fried Chilli Prawns Macher Kalia

Karimeen Polichathu

Karimeen Polichathu Recipe Card


The cuisine of Kerala is very hot and spicy and offers several gastronomic opportunities. The food is generally fresh, aromatic and flavoured. Keralites are mostly fish-and-rice eating people. The land and the food are rich with coconut, though one cannot imagine Kerala food without chillies, curry leaves, mustard seeds, tamarind and asafoetida. Just a little tamarind can substitute tomatoes, but there is no real substitute for curry leaves. 
The locals put to good use whatever the land offers and the result is a marvellous cuisine that is simple yet palate tickling. 
Kerala has an abundance of jackfruits, pineapples, mangoes, custard apples and an endless variety of bananas. The unusual cuisine of Kerala brings to the fore the culinary expertise of the people of Kerala. Producing some of the tastiest foods on earth, the people of Kerala are gourmets with a difference.

Prep Time : 1.30-2 hour

Cook time : 11-15 minutes

Serve : 4

Level Of Cooking : Moderate

Taste : Spicy

Ingredients for Karimeen Polichathu Recipe

  • Pearl Spot (karimeen) 4 medium

  • Coconut scraped 1/2 cup

  • Banana leaves 4

  • Kodumpuli 4 pieces

  • Whole dry red chillies 8

  • Turmeric powder 1/4 teaspoon

  • Coriander seeds 2 tablespoons

  • Ginger 1 inch piece

  • Garlic 8 cloves

  • Green chillies 4

  • Lemon juice 2 tablespoons

  • Curry leaves 10-12

  • Salt to taste

  • Oil for shallow frying


Step 1

Scale, clean and wash the fish thoroughly. Make deep slits on either side.

Step 2

Wash, wipe and cut the plantain leaf into four and remove the center core. Singe over open flame to make it malleable.

Step 3

Grind coconut, kodumpuli, red chilies, turmeric powder, coriander seeds, ginger, garlic and green chillies to a smooth paste.

Step 4

Add lemon juice and the curry leaves and mix well. Apply this paste liberally on the fish and also stuff it into the slits.

Step 5

Brush a little oil on each leaf and wrap each fish tightly in the leaf and tie with thread. Rest it for an hour in the fridge.

Step 6

Heat a little oil in a pan and shallow fry the parcels on medium heat for about three to four minutes on each side or till the fish is completely cooked.

Step 7

Ensure that the leaves don’t burn during cooking. Serve hot in the parcel itself.

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.