Indian style fish cutlets

The special about this recipe is it is made from tinned fish, which is easily available and easy to make. In Thailand fish cakes and crab cakes are very popular and I have made it but it is entirely different from this fish cake or fish cutlet, which is made in Indian style. Both the fish cakes have different taste and aroma. I have made vegetable cutlets but never tried fish cutlets. So I thought of making fish cutlets, but I have prepared it in a Indian way. One of my friend who is from Kerala, she shared her recipe, which her mother used to make for her. This fish cutlet has become so popular among my friends, as soon as they taste it; only thing they ask is for the recipe. In this I add my ginger garlic paste (home made) and garam masala or biryani masala (home made), which makes it very special. You can add spices which you like and can use any firm fish , you can ask the fish monger for boneless fish. I have used tined fish (chunks) in brine, which I get it here very easily. You can make it into small sizes and serve it in the parties as a snack or a starter.


  • Tinned fish – 185 gms
  • Oil – 3 tsp
  • Shallots – 5 to 6
  • Potatoes (medium) – 3
  • Green chillies (finely chopped) – 3
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 2 tsp
  • Chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala or biryani masala (home made) – 3/4 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Eggs – 2
  • Bread crumbs (readymade) - 1 cup (can be freshly made from 5 to 6 slices of bread and as required)
  • Coriander leaves (few, chopped) - 2 tbsp


  • First boil potatoes, when it is done, peel the skin and mash it well and keep it aside.
  • Drain the water from the fish tin and keep it aside. This fish is already cooked, so no need to cook much.
  • Preheat a kadai or a pan, add oil, when it gets warm add onions and fry till it is soft and light brown colour comes.
  • Now add green chillies, ginger & garlic paste stir it well for few seconds, then add all dry powders and stir it well, cook it on medium heat, do not burn the spices.
  • As soon as you add the spice powders , add drained fish chunks and stir it, let it cook for few minutes, till all the liquid of fish is absorbed and the masala becomes dry. Switch it off. Keep it aside to cool down.
  • If you want, you can add the fish first, then add the spices, and cook it with the fish chunks, smash the fish well, like shredded, all the masala should be mixed well with the fish. It will not take more than 10min.
  • When the fish is cooled down, add to the mashed potatoes, add coriander leaves, salt and mix all. Make patties shape or oval shape or any shape you like and keep it aside.
  • Now break the eggs in a bowl, whisk it with a fork, with a pinch of salt. Keep the bread crumbs ready in a plate.
  • Dip the crab cakes in eggs and then roll it in the bread crumbs and deep fry it. Drain it on the kitchen paper and serve it with any sauce you like.
  • You can make medium size 10 crab cakes/cutlets.


  • You can alter with the chilli powder and other spices.
  • You can add corrainder powder and black pepper powder also, if you like; I sometimes add all and make cutlets.
  • You can chop curry leaves few and fry it with onions also.
  • Instead of adding garam masala or biryani masala, while frying onions, I add at last in the fish mixture and mix it.
  • If you are using fresh fish, boil it or just cook it in the masala itself, till it is cooked, as it won’t take much time.
  • I sometimes avoid garam masala and add coriander powder 11/2tsp, it is up to you what spices you like and what you want to add, try and see, each time you will be getting new taste.
  • If you want can use only 2 potatoes. To increase the quantity I have added 3 potatoes.

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