Sardine (Mathi /മത്തി) is one of the healthiest non-vegetarian options especially for sea-food-lovers, which is having multiple health benefits. Only down-side of sardine is the sharp flavor of the fish which many people don’t like, especially when cooking the same in enclosed spaces. The recipe Mathi pollichathu-more specifically Mathi Vazhayilayil Pollichathu (മത്തി വാഴയിലയിൽ പൊള്ളിച്ചത്) is a traditional healthier way to prepare this fish, using very little oil and the same time benefiting for the fried fish taste.  This preparation will taste wonderful on those seasons when you get Sardines having extra fish oil in it.


  1. Sardines           : 10
  2. Lime juice           : ¼ T sp.
  3. Chilli powder    : 1 ½ T sp.
  4. Pepper powder : ½ T sp.
  5. Turmeric powder          : ¼ T sp.
  6. Ginger garlic paste       : 1 T sp.
  7. Oil        : 1 ½ – 2 T sp.
  8. Salt for taste


  • Clean the fish and wash it well
  • Make deep gashes in the fish for penetrating the masala easily.


  • In a bowl add the ingredients (except oil) and make a thick masala-paste with water.
  • Marinate the fish with the masala and rest it for an hour.
  • Take a kadai/pan- preferably cast iron -and rub it with some oil.
  • Take the banana leaf and keep it in the flame and soft the leaf ( to prevent tearing the leaf while folding)
  • Keep the banana leaf to the pan and rub some oil to the banana leaf and keep the fish on it,
  • Sprinkle some oil also to get to all the fish.
  • Cover it with another banana leaf and put the lid.
  • Keep the stove on and always keeping the flame medium low and cook it around 20- 30 minutes.
  • Flip the fish and sprinkle some oil and cook it in the same way about 20 minutes.


Here I used 1.5-2 Tsp oil for the whole cooking, may add a little more if you like for extra taste.



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