Saturday, 26 September 2009

MeenPathiri (Steamed Rice Pancakes Filled with Rich Fish Masala)

HI friends, how are you all doing?...I have been quite busy these days with stuffs at home and house hunting for our next move and we just found it today! Jeez, we are moving again may be in October or November. This time I am going to post another authentic recipe from Malabar region of Kerala, South India.....Yes, it is my all time favourite Meen pathiri...I had this for the first time when I attended one of my husbands relative’s wedding party in Tellicherry. It was in a post-wedding party that I had these gorgeous, yummilicious meenpathiri. There were loads of different varieties of food, I can’t remember, but they were all finger-licking good!! And meen pathiri was one thing that I can’t forget.I think I just had a couple of these during that party due to my slow eating behaviour and couldn't have anything else..As I mentioned before, I am quite slow in eating and it is a pain when it comes to parties. There will be so much of food that we might need an extra stomach to stuff them in, and a slow-eater like me cant even eat peacefully. Those who attended the parties in kannur-tellicherry region would have experienced this treat for sure.

Coming to the recipe, meenpathiris are steamed pancakes filled with a spicy fish masala. The pancakes are enriched itself with freshly grated coconut, fennel and onions. The procedure is quite lengthy and time consuming, but the outcome and the taste goodness, unbelievable. I am not a big fan of fish dishes, but certain fish recipes like Malabar fish biriyani and meen pathiris are an exception.....This is something that is normally made during parties or during Ramadan.

Meen Pathiri (serves 4-6)
For the pathiri:
(Please refer to the Neypathal dough and options given there. You can prepare the dough in any of the method mentioned there. The amount is the same)
2 cups Parboiled rice (Puzhukkalari, best is Ponni rice, Long grain rice can be substituted)
1 ½ Tbs fennel seeds (Perumjeerakam)
1 ¾ cups grated coconut
1 ½ cups water
1 cup rice flour
Salt – As reqd

For frying fish:
600 gm (4 large piece) King fish
1 Tbs Kashmiri chilli powder
2 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp salt
2 Tbs water
6 Tbs oil

For the masala:3 Large onion (510 gm, 4 cups chopped)
5 large cloves of garlic (1 heaped Tbs, grated)
2 medium Tomatoes(150 gms, 1 cup chopped)
2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
3 tsp Coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
1-1 ½ Tbsp Lime/lemon juice
2 twigs curry leaves, chopped
6-8 mint leaves, chopped
3 Tbs coriander leaves
4 Tbs water
½ tsp garam masala

For coconut paste:½ cup grated coconut
½ tsp fennel seeds (perumjeerakam)
2 shallots
4 Tbs (1/4 cup) water


1. Rub the fish with salt and lemon juice to get rid of the raw smell. Wash it thoroughly.

2. Make a thick paste of all the powders with water and marinate fish for about ½ hour -1 hour.

3. Make a smooth coconut paste by grinding the coconut, fennel, 2 shallots and water.

4. Heat a large frying pan and add oil. Fry the fish well. Remove from flame, remove the bones and break each piece into 4-6 portions. Keep them aside.

5. In the same pan, add onions and salt and sauté until it becomes soft and translucent. Add ginger, garlic and sauté for few minutes until the onion is cooked very well. Add chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder and sauté for few seconds.

6. Add in the chopped tomatoes, cover and cook till the tomatoes are soft and cooked. Add the coconut paste and ¼ cup water (less or more as required to get a very thick, not dry and not watery gravy/masala). Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes until the raw smell of the coconut goes away. Add the chopped leaves, lime/lemon juice and garam masala and stir well, cook for a minute or two. Add the fish pieces, cover and cook on very low flame until all the flavour is infused well for about 8-10 minutes

For the making pathiris and assembling:
1. Soak the rice in tap water for 3-4 hours.

2. Grind it along with minimal water until you get a coarse and grainy mixture.

3. Add coconut, fennel seeds and roughly chopped onions to this and grind for few seconds until everything is just crushed and NOT smooth.

4. Tip the whole mixture in to a large bowl, add salt and mix well.

5. Add the rice powder and mix well using hands until you get dough that can be shaped into balls.

6. Take a small portion from the rice dough, make a ball and flatten it in a sheet (I used baking paper cut into square shape, u can use banana leaf or any other sheet made from shopper bag) using the heel of your palm. Add some masala in the centre along with the fish pieces, leaving a cm from the circumference.

7. Make another pathiri in another sheet the same way, a bit bigger than the previous one and cover the masala filled pathiri, covering the masalas completely. Slowly press the edges using the fingers to seal all the fish masala in. Carefully lift the sheet/banana leaf and place it in a steamer. Steam cook for about 10-12 minutes or until the pathiri is firm. Hold all the edges of the banana leaf/baking paper and lift out the meenPathiris. (Beware steam getting into hands!)

8. Repeat the same process until all the masalas and the rice are used up.

Now comes the awards!!
Aruna of Ensamayal kuripukal has Given me few sets of Awards and has also tagged me. I have been tagged before as well, So please view them here. Thank you Aruna.
Priya of Ensamaiyal and Sarah of vazhayila has also passed on the following beautiful awards for me. Thank you ladies...

I would like to pass the above awards and tags to all my friends out there. Please feel free to accept it and post it in your blog.
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