For cleaning the Pearl fish:1)Pearl fish comes with a coating of thick scales which has to be sliced off with a sharp knife, keeping the head and tail intact.
Rub the fish on rough surface( on a cutting board) with salt and clean inside out.
Wash with clean water and soak them in curd/lemon juice to get rid of the any bad smell of the fish.
After half an hour, take the fish out of the curd/lemon juice and wash in clean water.
Make slits through the fish diagonally.
For preparing the masala:1)Grind together black pepper, small onions, red chillies, ginger and garlic into a coarse paste.
Add red chilly powder, turmeric and salt and little water to make the masala to a paste form.
Rub it all over the fish inside out.
Keep the curry leaves pasted to the fish too.
Refrigerate it covered for about half an hour for the masala to absorbed into the fish.
Take out and fry in coconut oil on both sides, until it turns dark brown.
:- Serve hot on a plantain leaf.
For making the gravy:1)Take out the excess oil from the above frying pan..
Heat up the remaining masala dust and oil.
Fry half-cup button onions along with curry leaves.
When they turn light brown, pour the gravy over the fish.