This 20-minute Kerala recipe for Chattiyil pollicha meen or pot fish curry uses less oil

This 20-minute Kerala recipe for Chattiyil pollicha meen or pot fish curry uses less oil

Traditionally made using a clay pot, this dish is a medley of spices and vegetables...

Guide to making chattiyil pollicha meen Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, eating fish can boost your heart health. Lucky for those of us who do love our seafood, this dish uses quite a number of fish pieces, a little less oil and spices, and does not compromise on taste at all. The key ingredient of this dish is the pomfret fish, but you could substitute it with a fish of your choice in case the pomfret isn't easily available.

So here's a very simple fish preparation for those who often run short of time to whip up a tasty meal...

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time : 20 minutes

Serves: 3


Here's what you'll need (from left to right): Coconut milk powder, coconut oil, turmeric powder, salt, black pepper powder, curry leaves, garlic cloves, green chillies, ginger, tomatoes and onions Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese
  1. 500 gms pomfret fish
  2. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  3. 1 tsp black pepper powder
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 4 medium-sized onions
  6. 2 tomatoes
  7. 4 green chillies
  8. 1 piece of one inch ginger
  9. 4 cloves garlic
  10. 1 tbsp coconut oil
  11. 2 sprig curry leaves
  12. ¼ cup water


Step 1: Clean the fish thoroughly and make a deep slit in the fish for the marination to permeate

Clean the fish thoroughly Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 2: Marinate the fish with item number turmeric powder, salt and black pepper powder. Keep it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Time to marinate it... Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 3: Chop the onions and tomatoes, slit the green chillies through the middle and crush the ginger and garlic together. Keep them aside in separate bowls.

Chop the ingredients and keep them aside... Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 4: Heat a thick-bottomed clay pot on a medium-high flame. Add in the chopped onion and stir it continuously. Once the onion slices become hot, add a tablespoon of coconut oil and sauté it till it turns translucent.

Step 5: Add the slit green chillies and stir for few seconds. Next, add the crushed ginger and garlic mix and stir for another few seconds. Add salt to taste.

Add green chillies, ginger and garlic... Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 6: Add half the portion of the chopped tomatoes and mix it well. Cover the pot with a lid and cook it for about 3 minutes on a low flame.

Add in the tomatoes... Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 7: Add the curry leaves, and then place the marinated fish on top of the cooked gravy. Add the remaining chopped tomato pieces on top of the fish and pour ¼ cup of water.

Step 8: Close the pot with its lid once again and cook it on a low flame for about 10 to 12 mins. Turn the fish to the other side at regular intervals so that the spices blend well.

Add in the fish and cover it with the rest of the tomatoes Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 9: You can add 150 ml of coconut milk (100 ml of thick coconut milk and 50 ml of water) into the pot to thicken the gravy.

Add in a bit of coconut milk.. Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Note: After adding the coconut milk, make sure to not bring it to a boiling point. This preparation can be made with sardines, pearl spot fish or with mackerels.

Step 10: Serve and eat with steamed rice or rotis (flatbreads)

Serve and enjoy! Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese
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