Recipe

Salmon pollichattu

by Meera Sodha

Parcels of fish coated in a tangy marinade

This parcel of fish coated in a tangy marinade of tamarind, shallots and tomatoes hails from Kerala and is one of the best ways to eat salmon I know of. 

Ingredients

1 packet of frozen banana leaves
Kitchen string
3 tbsp coconut oil
20 curry leaves
6 big banana shallots, thinly sliced
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
3cm ginger, peeled and grated
4 green finger chillies, finely chopped (3 if you’d prefer less heat)
400 juicy vine tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp tamarind paste
½ tsp turmeric
¾ tsp salt
6 salmon fillets, skinned 

Method

Defrost the banana leaves and rub them down with a clean wet cloth. Soak the string in water until needed.

Heat the coconut oil in a large lidded frying pan over a medium heat and when hot add the curry leaves. Leave them to crisp for 1 min then add the shallots. Cook for around 10 mins until browning and golden, then add the garlic, ginger and chillies.

Cook for 3 mins until the raw smell disappears then add the tomatoes, tamarind, turmeric and salt and cook until the tomatoes soften and become a little jammy. Take off the heat.

Lay the banana leaf down and a fillet of salmon on top. Place 2 tbsp of the marinade on the salmon and wrap the banana leaf around it like a present, then secure with string.

To cook, heat up a grill pan or a barbecue until hot and grill for 4 mins on each side for a thin fillet (up to 2cm) and 5 mins on each side for a thicker one (up to 3cm).

ALTERNATIVE: If you’re not able to find frozen banana leaves, foil works just as well.

Recipe: Meera Sodha
Images: John Holdship