May 30, 2013

Meen Pathiri (Steamed rice pancakes filled with fish masala)

            It has been a while since I posted any Malabar dishes. The fact that most of them have lengthy and intricate procedures make them victims of procrastination. Even, when the procedures are quiet simple, explaining it with the step by step pictures often proves to lose a lot of time. Hence, I have lots of malabar dishes photographed, yet not ready for posting in my draft.

     Actually, I hadn't attempted to make this Malabar dish by myself, though I have  had it many times. We have a newly opened restaurant in Kuwait, which is specialised in Malabar cuisine and we have become frequent visitors there, lately. Homely food is what they offers with that authentic traditional touch. While enjoying their Malabar specialities the other day, it suddenly struck me that it has been a long time since I posted any Malabar dishes on the blog. So I thought of sharing this Meen Pathiri, which is 'Malabari' in all essence and is quiet a winner as far as fish lovers are concerned.

    Basically, pathiri is a colloquial term in Malabar area for pancakes made by rolling out dough. They are usually made with rice flour or with the dough made my grinding soaked rice. There are also pathiris made with wheat flour like gothambu pathiri,moolapathiri etc. Meen Pathiri is made with two rice pancakes joined together and stuffed with spicy fish filling  and later on steam cooked to perfection.

    They are traditionally made by grinding soaked parboiled rice with grated coconut, shallots and fennel seeds. And the stuffing is done with fleshy fishes like king fish and mackerel. Here I made the pathiris the easier way using rice flour mixed with coconut milk powder and fennel seeds. I had some pomfrets in the freezer and made the filling with it.

     It was an instant winner in the family with Mr.KB commenting that it was high time I made something 'Ramzani'. Usually Meen Pathiri is made during ifthars and on such special occasions, back home. So this can be added to those 'must try' ifthar dishes, as the Ramzan is fast approaching...

The Recipe:

For the pancakes:
2 cups rice flour
2 tbsp coconut milk powder
1 3/4 cup hot boiled water
1/2 to 1 tsp fennel seeds(perum jeerakam), grounded
1/2 to1 tsp shallots(cheriyulli),grounded (optional)
Salt to taste

For the fish marinade:
5 -6 pieces of any fleshy fish like mackerel,king fish or pomfret
1/2 tsp turmeric pdr
2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste

For the filling:
2-3 onions sliced
2-3 green chillies, slit
1 tsp ginger garlic paste( freshly made for more flavour)
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric pdr
1 tsp kashmiri chilli pdr
1 and 1/2 tsp coriander pdr
1 tsp fennel seed pdr (perum jeeraka podi)
2 sprigs of curry leaves
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt to taste


    Wash and drain the fish properly and marinate it with turmeric powder,red chilli pdr, lemon juice and salt.Keep aside for half to one hour and shallow fry in a frying pan with cooking oil. Remove it from the pan; remove the skin and bones and shred them to small pieces. Keep aside.

Prepare the filling:
  •  Heat oil in a frying pan and add the onions. Saute it till it becomes translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and saute until aroma comes out. Add green chillies and curry leaves and saute for a few minutes
  • Add chopped tomatoes and saute until mushy. Now add the spice powders and saute till the masala becomes thick with very less water.Add adequate salt and check the taste
  • Now add the shredded fried fish pieces and mix well.Keep it covered and cook in low flame for a few minutes to imbibe the flavour.
  • Remove the masala from heat and keep aside
Making the Pathiris and assembling:

                                                         flour kneaded to soft sticky dough
                                                     the filling placed on the pathiri
                                             another pathiri placed on top and sides joined

                                                   steaming the pathiri
  • Spread rice flour, coconut milk powder, fennel seed powder and ground shallots in a wide mouthed bowl and pour hot boiling water added with adequate salt, over it. Knead well into a soft sticky dough.
  • Take a cricket ball sized piece of dough and place it over a parchment paper or banana leaves cut into squares. Place another parchment paper or banana leaf over it and roll out into a pathiri 1/2 a cm thick with a rolling pin or with the heels of your palm. Remove the parchment paper on the top carefully and place some filling on it and spread,leaving half an inch from the circumference.
  • Make another similar sized pathiri and place it over the other, with the filling in between. Press down the sides with your fingers to join the two pathiris.
  • Repeat the procedure with the rest of the dough. It makes about 4 meen pathiris
  • Cover it fully with parchment paper or banana leaf and steam in a steamer until well cooked, for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from steam and peel off the covering. Serve after it cools down. Enjoy!


  1. Ethu thinna kaalam marannu!!! Yum...

  2. You are tempting this.

  3. tempting clicks,looks so irresistible.

  4. Filling and yummy pathiri... looks too good

  5. Omg, who can resist to this beautiful pathiri.

  6. I honestly thought that I was looking at a fried omelet only to discover that it is a pancake. This looks a little suspicious but the recipe makes it sound delicious. I can only assume that this is a recipe that you should reserve judgment on until you try it.



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