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.
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.