Karimeen is Pearlspot fish and pollichathu means grilled or roasted.
Clean the fish and make cuts across its entire length. Apply a paste of pepper powder, turmeric powder and salt, and fry lightly.
Grind together to a smooth paste, coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder and pepper powder. Sauté shallots, ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves in some coconut oil, and keep aside. Splutter some mustard seeds and sauté the masala, made from the various powders. Now, add the fish, coconut milk, kodampuli (gambodge or Malabar tamarind or fish tamarind) and salt; cover and cook. When it starts to boil, remove the lid and allow the water content to evaporate.
Add the sautéed mixture that was kept aside (the pacha masala, literally, the raw masala) to the fish. When the fish is covered with the masala, remove from the flame.
Put the fish in banana leaves that have been lightly heated to make them soft, tie up with ‘threads’ taken from the leaves and grill. This dish should be eaten hot.