FISH COOKED IN BANANA LEAVES

FISH cooked in coconut oil covered with banana leaves, done with pearl spot fish.

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Step 1: Marinate the Fish

You can use a good thick cut of fish and Sprinkle salt, turmeric and chilli powder on both sides of the fish and spread it evenly all over the meat. Marinate the fish for 10 minutes. Set aside

Step 2: Fry

Fry the fish in a tablespoon of coconut oil. Fry for one to two minutes on each side. The fish might take more time to cook if its thick. I just cooked for a minute on each side. We will again cook it in banana leaf. So do not over cook the fish else the fish will become hard and dry. Use your own judgement. Remove from heat and set aside on a plate to cool.

Step 3: Masala

Now lets make the masala. Traditionally, Indian shallots (small onions) are used for making the masala. Onions can be used too!Heat coconut oil in a pan and add in the chopped onions, curry leaves and crushed ginger. Fry till the onions are soft and starting to brown.

Add in the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and salt. Fry till the tomatoes are cooked and juicy.Add in the fresh shredded coconut and coriander leaves. Remove from heat and mix well to combine. Set aside.

Step 4: Banana Leaves for Wrapping

Lets get the banana leaves ready for wrapping. The banana leaves need to be wilted. Using the raw leaf would likely tear when folded. To avoid this problem, it needs to be wilted on fire. Run the banana leaf on fire for 2-3 seconds. The leaf would have become soft. Set aside. Just mere seconds is good enough. Do not show the leaf on fire for a long time. It might burn.

Step 5: Wrapping

Take a big piece of wilted banana leaf and add in two tablespoon of the prepared masala in the center. Add a piece of the fried fish and cover the fish with two tablespoon of masala.

Fold the banana leaf to make a small packet. Fold from both the sides.

Fold again on the top and bottom. Place it seam side down so it does not open. Repeat with all the fish pieces. Set aside.

Step 6: Cooking

Place the prepared wraps on a pan and cook for 5 minutes on a low flame, seam side down first. Cover the pan with a lid and cook.The flavor of the banana leaf will penetrate well on a covered pan.

Turn the wraps and cook again for five minutes. Cover with a lid and cook.

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