Tuesday, July 7, 2009

fish cutlets or fish cakes the Indian way

Some of the healthiest dinners we enjoy are the ones when we make chicken or fish cutlets (shallow fried) and have them with loads of salad on the side. This happens mostly on Friday evenings when both of us are a bit relaxed and enjoy a drink to go with the relaxed simple dinner.

This fish cutlet or Indian fish cakes are repeated quite frequently. More so because we don't get good fish in our neighborhood and whenever we buy fish from the faraway markets we bring loads of fish and freeze portions of it. Thawing the frozen fish in the microwave for a bit longer and making quick fish cakes is easy and works well even if the fish has been frozen for a long time. For fish curries and fish stews I prefer cooking the fish within 2 weeks of freezing.

Now coming to the fish cutlet recipe which is a very simple healthy recipe and completely gluten free if you don't coat them with crumb. If you dredge the cutlets in crumb they definitely get a nice and crisp coating and can be deep fried easily, but of everyday meals I prefer not coating the cutlets and let them shallow fry on low flame to brown them well on both sides.

When cooking these fish cutlets for a crowd you must dip them individually in whisked eggs and then dredge in bread crumbs of semolina , panko and deep fry on high heat.

(to make 6 cutlets)

250 gm fish fillets or pieces of any muscular fish with skin (use tinned tuna if you don't get fresh fish)
minced ginger, garlic and green chillies 1 tsp each or to taste, I use a bit more ginger and lesser garlic
3-4 tbsp finely chopped coriander greens
salt to taste
1 tbsp black pepper powder
one boiled mashed potato
1 tsp lemon juice
oil to shallow fry (I used a little more than 1 tbsp mustard oil to fry six cutlets)


First of all poach the fish pieces with a little amount of water in a covered pan. I just microwave the fish as it is so much easier and you use lesser pans.

Now debone the fish pieces when cool enough to handle and mix the flesh with all the other ingredients except oil.

Shape cutlets in whatever shape you like and press each of them on a greased plate to make the surface flat.

Heat oil in a flat bottomed pan or cast iron griddle and arrange the fish cakes. Let one side get nicely brown and crisp and then turn and fry on the other side till perfectly crisp and brown. Take care not to brown them too much as any spot of burnt fish doesn't taste too good.

Serve with green chutney or any chutney of your choice if serving as an appetiser, or just with onion rings and some tomato slices if it is a part of main course.

The texture of these fish cutlets is flaky and the mild bite of the ginger, garlic and green chilli etc makes it quite a flavour bomb in the mouth.

If making these fish cutlets or fish cakes for a continental or mediterranian meal, replace coriander greens with parsley and omit ginger and green chillies in the mix. You can add more garlic, some roasted red chilli flakes, replace lime juice with sumac or even add some thyme to the mix to flavour these fish cakes differently. Serve with a tartar sauce if you wish.


  1. nice cutlets and lovely snaps!

  2. Mm yummy yummy cutlets and healthy soup!Loved it!

  3. Oh yum..it's been ages since I had fish cutlets..Add this to the list of things u r gonna make for me ok?? Maybe I should try making it at home but am so finicky abt handling fish..

  4. You have an amazing way of taking many pictures and putting them nicely on the post!!

    Keep it Up!!

  5. thanks sanghi...the soup is my routine now.

    hey sakshi....you'll sure get the fish cutlets ...n yeah even i feel clumsy at handling fish.

    swatatra dear i am really glad to be appreciated for the pics..you know i click with my cellphone cam ( 2 mp) ....:D
    fantastic food pics on other blogs makes me conscious sometimes but this is what i can do right now...n am contented with this......cellphone is sooo much more convenient, i carry it always in the pocket of my pajama...ha ha...thanks again...

  6. Hi sangeetha...loved the cutlets...perfect pics!

  7. Hey! Forget about the pics ... we need them just to get an idea of the awesome stuff you are always making ... not to judge you ... good pics are not always the proof of good recipes. :-)
    This recipe is awesome! Love fish cutlets .. and am trying your multigrain soup soon ... but for dinner. :-)
    I have never made cutlets ... always eat up the fish kheema before getting around to making anything ( have posted it too). :-)

  8. wow....healthy soup dear...yummy chutney and mouthwatering fish cutlet.....

  9. Delicious fish cutlets for evening snack & also as a starter ... Nice picture .. Actualy I started feeling hunggy dear ...

  10. nice one will try definately

  11. Good going with the nutritious soup,I'll love this for lunch everyday.Semolina for bread crumbs,thats a smart idea,cutlets looks tempting with the chutney :)

  12. What a delicious and healthy meal!

  13. I came by to check out your food blog. Very nice!
    The soup looks delicious for a light lunch with a salad.


  14. I don't eat meat, but would love to try the tomato chutney especially since it can be made in a jiffy!!!
    and Oh I already tried your multigrain soup with barley and liked it a lot!!!

  15. I love multigrain soups!right now am having one with pearl barley!