Fish Cutlets

Ben and I had our annual Deepavali Dinner recently.

FYI, Deepavali = Indian Festival of Lights. It’s like an Indian Christmas.

In keeping with my Indian theme, of course, we had a full Indian dinner. This time, I was careful not to over-cater, I am proud to say, I made just enough food for everyone!

I made Meena Periamma’s famous Fish Cutlets as a starter. They are not actually cutlets, in the end they turn out more like a fish patty, but they do start out as fish cutlets.

Meena Periamma’s fish cutlets were amazing, they were crispy, spicy, and full of delicious fish flavour. I was really missing home, so I asked Periamma for the recipe, and tried it out. The recipe is not difficult, and I actually prepared the mix the day before, popped it in the fridge all ready to fry just before our dinner.

You can even fry them early in the morning, and then just heat them up in the oven at 100°C just before serving, it will still be nice to eat.

Hope you enjoy the recipe, and thank you Periamma for sharing a bit of home with me for this years Deepavali festival.

Serves: 25 – 30 cutlets

Prep-Time: 1 hour

Cooking time: Depends on how big your deep fryer is. My deep fryer was only big enough for 6 cutlets at a time, so I was frying for about  2.5 hours.


500g Spanish Mackerel cutlets

300g potato, boiled

80g breadcrumbs

1 medium red onion, finely diced

1 bunch coriander leaves, finely chopped

1 tsp minced garlic paste

1 tsp minced ginger paste

2 tsp tumeric powder

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tbsp cumin powder

1 tbsp coriander powder

1 tbsp fennel powder

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

Oil for deep frying


  1. Boil water with 1 tsp tumeric powder. Boil fish cutlets for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from water, remove fish skin and bones, and lightly mash the fish meat into a medium sized bowl. Make sure there are no bones!
  3. Boil and mash potatoes. Mix potatoes in with mashed fish.
  4. Add breadcrumbs, onion, coriander leaves, garlic and ginger pastes to the mix.
  5. Add 1 tsp tumeric powder, chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, fennel powder and salt to the mix. Make sure you taste as you go, and add more if required.
  6. Just before frying, add two eggs to the mix. Mix it in well.
  7. Heat oil to frying temperature.
  8. Using a plastic sandwich bag, form the cutlet shape. Fry off the cutlet. There is no prescribed amount of time for frying, you do want your cutlet to achieve a dark brown colour (but not burnt). Make sure you turn your cutlets every couple of minutes to ensure even frying.
  9. Remove from oil and drain. Your cutlets are ready to serve.
Your fish mix should look like this
Plastic sandwich bag in hand, form a ball
Form your fish patty – about 4cm in diameter and no more than 1cm thick
No need to fuss too much
Peel the patty away from the plastic bag
Like so, and then into the deep fryer we go!
Look at those delicious fish cutlets!
Happy Deepavali all!

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