Prawns Pollichathu: The Simple Solution For Kerala Sunday Lunch

Seafood needs a trained hand to cook to perfection and prawns especially can be easy to overcook if given the chance. But in Kerala, they have it down to fine art and one of the most famous preparations is Pollichathu. Pollichathu in the local language literally translates to roasted or grilled, and many different types of seafood can be prepared using this method.

The most commonly seen is Meen Pollichathu, made with fish   , but prawns are a popular substitute. The seafood is marinated and slathered in a mix of traditional spices and then wrapped in banana leaves and roasted in a banana leaf. The leaf itself imparts a unique flavour during the roasting process and while the final dish is a stunning affair, the method to make it is actually straightforward.


  • 8 curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 4 chopped onion shallot
  • 3 chopped green chilli
  • 2 banana leaves
  • ½  cup coconut milk
  • ¼  tsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 2 medium chopped tomato
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • Salt to taste



  • In a large mixing bowl, add the prawns with salt, ginger, black pepper, fennel powder and chilli powder. Marinate it for 15 minutes. In a grinder, add ginger, garlic and green chillies. 
  • Add a little water and grind well to make a paste.
  • Heat oil in a pan over high flame and cook the marinated prawns in it. 
  • When the prawns turn golden, add shallots, curry leaves, ginger-garlic paste to the pan and mix well. 
  • Put chilli, fennel, black pepper and turmeric powder in it and stir to mix everything well.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk and salt as per your taste. 
  • Cook for a few minutes and then, add vinegar and turn off the flame. 
  • Take a banana leaf and put the prepared dish in it after greasing it with oil. Seal the leaf like a packet with the help of a string.
  • Heat tawa on low flame and pour little oil in it. When the oil is hot enough, put the banana leaf parcel on it and cook for 5 minutes for each side. Take out on a plate and open the parcel. Serve hot with rice!