Banana Leaf Wrapped Tawa Fish Fry | With very less Oil

Banana Leaf wrapped Fish Fry is a classic version that I always love, which would be an ultimate and tongue-tickling treat with the perfect blend of South-Indian Masala and the traditional touch from the banana leaf.

Kerala cuisine is inseparable from the Fresh fishes and you might have come across with Kerala Meen Pollichadhu which is very similar to this recipe but with myriad steps involved. Trust me, the recipe which I'm posting is very easy, less-tricky yet drool-worthy.

The banana wrapped fish would not form a brown crust, but in turn, would be tender and juicy with loads of flavours infused into it. The flavour of coconut masala, the aroma of the minimal coconut oil, the tits and bits of masala-suffused curry leaves and onions, the perfect tanginess of the lemon juice and the traditional flavour from the banana leaf. What else you want in a perfect Indian recipe for a luxurious weekend?

Does Banana Leaf need to be wilted before wrapping?

  • No.
  • Wilting the banana leaf over the flame or by placing on the Tawa helps the banana leaf from tearing apart while wrapping the fish fillets. 
  • I always use unwilted banana leaf which never failed me. If you want to wilt the leaf, you could do.

Whole Fish or Sliced Fish? Which works best?

  • Both work best if we allow the fish to marinate for a long time. More time the fish marinates, much tastier would be the fish fry, no matter what is used.
  • If using whole fish, make some slits using a knife on both sides of the fish which helps absorb the masala.
  • If using sliced fish or fish fillets, make sure to cut into thin slices which would work best for this recipe.

How long the Fish needs to get fried?

  • Cover and cook each side of the fish fillet for 5 minutes or until the banana leaf changes its colour completely.
  • Fish will not get burnt as it is wrapped. So, it needs to be cooked on a high flame until the banana leaf changes its colour for the best tasting experience.

So, What's Special here?

  • It uses very minimal oil and very minimal ingredients.
  • Marination requires very simple uncooked ingredients.
  • Banana leaf could be used straight with no wilting over the flame and so, the wrapping is also quite simple.

Which Fish to Use?

  • I use Pomfret fish slices for this recipe.
  • I have made the same recipe with King Fish, Sea bass and Mackerel. All of which excelled in taste. Pearl spot and red snapper would also be equally good.
  • Make sure the fish is fresh and the fry would be just more than your expectations.

Can I make this without Banana Leaf?

  • Yes, you can.
  • Aluminium foil could be used in the place of banana leaf. But, the flavour from the banana leaf would get missed.
  • You could pan fry the marinated fish directly without any wrap which would taste amazingly delicious with a brown crust.
A very healthy and drool-worthy Tawa Fried Fish with the coconutty flavour from the marinated masala and the coconut oil would be enjoyable on each bite. With just 4 tablespoons of oil, this recipe is just healthful and tastes exotic. The amazing flavour infused from the banana leaf adds a traditional feel to this recipe.

This Tawa fry can be enjoyed as such or as a side for Steamed rice with Fish Curry. When served with spicy raw mango chutney, the taste would be just lip-smacking (To be frank, I'm mouth-watering while writing this post! LOL 🤣).

⏲ Preparation Time: 15 minutes
⏲ Marination Time: 1 to 2 hours
⏲ Cooking Time: 10 to 15 minutes per batch
🍴 Servings: 4 to 5

Banana Leaf Wrapped Tawa Fish Fry | With very less Oil

A flavourful pan-fried fish with an exotic blend of coconutty South-Indian Masala infused with the flavour of banana leaf.

What to Use?
For Masala Paste:
  • Shredded coconut - 4 tbsp
  • Garlic cloves - 10
 For Marination:
  • Pomfret fish - 1 kg
  • Masala Paste
  • Salt -1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Black Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder - 2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves - a few (chopped)
  • Onion - 1 (chopped) 
  • Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
For Tawa Fry:
  • Banana Leaf - 2 (cut into small squares)
  • Coconut oil - 2 tbsp (for Masala) + 2 tbsp (for Tawa fry)
Steps Involved: 
  • Cut the Pomfret fish into thin slices. You could use the whole fish if you want.
  • Wash the fish slices thoroughly and drain off the excess water.
  • Grind coconut and garlic cloves toa smooth paste.
  • Add masala paste, turmeric powder, pepper powder, red chilli powder to the washed fish.
  • Add in a few freshly chopped curry leaves, chopped onions, and squeeze in a tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • Season the marination with needed salt.
  • Mix the marination gently and thoroughly.
  • Let the marination sit for 1 to 2 hours.
  • After the marination time, add coconut oil and give a gentle mix.
  • Cut the banana leaf into small squares and let them ready for wraps.
  • Place the marinated fish in the middle of the banana leaf and fold it from both sides.
  • From the other two sides, get the thread and tie like a parcel.
  • Do wrap all the fish slices like this. (Watch the video) 
  • To a hot skillet, add a little coconut oil and place the wraps over it.
  • Cook covered for 5 minutes on a high flame.
  • Flip over and cook the other side for 5 minutes on a high flame. 
  • The banana leaf-wrapped Tawa Fish Fry is ready to get unwrapped.
  • Just enjoy the fusion food as such or with spicy raw mango chutney.

Visual Treat: 

 Video link for "Banana Leaf Wrapped Tawa Fish Fry " post: 
Subscribe to our YouTube channel!
Stay Connected!

For comforting the easy understandability of the recipe, the step by step, detailed procedure along with the picture is shown below:

Step-by-Step Procedure with Pictures

How to Make?

  • Wash and drain off the water from the thin slices. I use sliced Pomfret fish for this recipe. You could use whole fish or fish fillet if you want. Make sure the fish is fresh.
  • For the masala, grind fresh coconut and garlic cloves to a smooth paste. Use freshly shredded coconut for the best taste.
  • Add the ground masala paste to the fish slices.
  • Season with salt and add in turmeric powder, black pepper powder and red chilli powder to the fish slices.
  • Add in the chopped curry leaves and chopped onion. Squeeze a tablespoon of lemon juice to the marination.
  • Mix the ingredients gently and thoroughly. The ingredients should get distributed throughout the fish slices.
  • Let the marination sit undisturbed for about an hour or two. More time you give for marination, it's more likely for the marination to get penetrated inside the flesh.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to the marinated fish slices and give a final gentle mix. The beautifully marinated fish slices are ready to get wrapped.
  • Remove the centre vein of the banana leaf and cut the leaf into small squares. Take the cut piece of the banana leaf and place a piece of marinated fish in the middle. Fold the banana leaf from two opposite sides in such a way that fish is covered.
  • Run the thread perpendicular to the folded banana leaf and tie like a parcel. Flip the banana wrap and tie a knot at the backside. The banana wrap should look similar to this. Wrap all the slices like this.
  • Take a hot skillet and place the wrapped fish slices over it. Drizzle some coconut oil over the wraps.
  • Flip the wrapped slices, cover and cook for 5 minutes on a high flame. Cooking on a high flame helps infuse the flavour of the banana leaf into the fish slices.
  • Flip over the wraps again, cover and cook the other side for 5 minutes on a high flame. The banana leaf should turn brown, or else, the flavour would not be that great. No worries if the masala seeps out from the banana leaf. It is a good sign of the best end-product.
  • That's it, the Tawa Fish Fry is ready to get unwrapped! The tender, juicy and the flavourful fish fry is here! Wow, it's mouth-watering and perfectly cooked!

Visual Treat-Video for "Banana Leaf Wrapped Tawa Fish Fry"


  • Make many slits if using full fish, or thin slices if slicing the fish.
  • More time for marination would work great in absorbing the masala.
  • Though any oil could be used, use coconut oil for the best flavour. 
  • Keep in mind, the fish won't get burnt as it is safely wrapped. So, cook on a high flame until the colour of the banana leaf gets completely changed.
Less Oil with no Compromise in taste!
Try this recipe and write back through comments. I love to hear from you.

Tried this recipe?
Take a snap and mention #packthesnack_ or @packthesnack_ on Instagram.


  1. Very tasty masala fish fry.. excellent recipe..

  2. You have shared a nice post with all information of this recipe. You was write an informative and attractive post. I suggests to other to read this post. It is such an interesting blog. It is about some Fish Tikka in Hampton Park, in descriptive way. Thank you.

  3. I like this blog for Fish Tikka in Hampton Park. The recipe which you have to post will be very delicious to eat. You help to foodies for making delicious food. Thank for it. Keep it up.


Post a Comment

It has been a lot of time & effort spent behind each recipe in innovating, experimenting, time-testing, and presenting them in an informative way. Hope you spend back a little time to leave your valuable comments here...