Crisp on the outside, spicy and juicy inside, these Indian style fish cutlets are a snap to make. These salmon croquettes make for a great evening snack or party appetizers.
Just when I thought that we were in for a warm spring and even hotter summer, there came a slew of storms one after the other. I am a summer gal. Give me summer any day, it’s winter that is my nemesis. But I do love spring rains. I love the brief respite from the hot weather, the sound of raindrops on the window pane, and the smell of rain-drenched earth.
And when rains hit, I crave something absolutely sinful, spicy and delicious. Watching the rains and munching on snacks, is there any better way to spend a lazy evening with your loved ones?
Indian cutlets are a kind of croquettes made with a variety of fillings, coated with breadcrumbs and fried till crispy and golden. The fillings can be made with potatoes, beets and other vegetables, and of course, any kind of meat. I already have recipes for minced beef cutlets and chicken cutlets on the blog.
This time, the only thing I had on hand were a couple of salmon filets. It had been a while since I made fish cutlets and the idea seemed just perfect for my cravings. Indian style fish cutlets are best made spicy, slightly tangy and enjoyed right away when hot.
Since fish gets cooked fast, fish cutlets are the easiest to make. I prefer to chop my fish into small pieces and cook it with onions, chilies and spices. Once they get cooked, gently break them or flake them apart with a spoon. Add a couple of mashed potatoes to add bulk to the mixture and help it to bind together. Shape, roll and fry up! That’s all there is to it.
I served these salmon croquettes with lemonade because the rains were not that effective in bringing the temps down all of a sudden. Tea and coffee are traditional favorites, but if you are making the cutlets spicy, there’s nothing like a cool glass of lemonade to wash it all down.
- Potato – 2, medium-sized
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Curry leaves - 3-4, chopped
- Onion – 1, finely chopped
- Ginger and garlic paste – 2 tsp
- Green chili – 1, finely chopped (optional, omit if serving to kids)
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Red chili powder – 1 tsp (or as per taste)
- Garam masala powder – ½ tsp
- Salmon filet – ½ lb, skinless and cut into small pieces
- Salt – to taste
- Black pepper powder – ¼ tsp
- Amchur powder – ½ tsp (or juice of half a lime)
- Cilantro leaves – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
- Fish and potato filling – above quantity, cooled slightly
- Egg – 1, large
- Breadcrumbs – 1 cup
- Salt and pepper - for seasoning
- Oil – for frying
- Fish Cutlet Filling: Boil, peel and mash the potatoes. Set aside.
- In a large pan or deep skillet, heat the oil. Add cumin seeds and curry leaves and allow them to crackle.
- Add onions and saute for a few minutes till soft and lightly golden in color. Add the ginger-garlic paste and chopped green chili and saute well till the raw smell is gone.
- Now add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, and garam masala powder and saute for a few seconds.
- Add the fish pieces and salt to taste. Cook the fish on all sides. When the fish is opaque (cooked), break it down or mash lightly with the spoon. You want a fairly smooth mixture.
- Add the mashed potatoes and stir to combine well with the masala and fish. Cook together till mixture is fairly dry.
- Sprinkle black pepper powder, aamchur powder and cilantro leaves, mix well and remove from heat. Let filling cool completely before forming the cutlets.
- Making Fish Cutlets: Set up your breading station. Whisk the egg, season lightly with salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Take breadcrumbs in another bowl.
- Pinch lime-sized balls of the fish filling, smoothen with your hands and flatten it slightly to a disk shape. Alternately, you can make oval or cylindrical shapes as well.
- Dip each patty in the egg, then roll generously in breadcrumbs. Transfer to a large tray or plate. Repeat till all the filling is used up.
- At this point, you can either freeze the patties for future use or fry them right away. Allow the coating to firm up slightly before frying them. You can refrigerate them for 10-15 minutes to speed up things.
- Heat oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot, drop in a couple of patties, reduce heat to medium-high and fry till golden brown on all sides. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil. Increase the heat again before frying the next batch. Repeat till all cutlets/croquettes are done.
- Serve them hot along with some ketchup. Serve with tea, coffee or a cool glass of lemonade depending on your mood!
- Fish cutlets can also be served along with a main meal or as appetizers. It goes well with almost all kinds of rice dishes, flatbreads and can also be eaten as a slider sandwiched between lightly toasted buns.
2. You can shallow fry the cutlets in a pan or even bake them for a healthier version (at 400 deg.F for 15 minutes or till coating is browned).
3. The oil must neither be too hot or not hot enough. If it is too hot, the cutlets will burn and if it is not hot enough, it has a tendency to absorb oil and turn soggy. Start with a hot pan of oil, then reduce the heat to medium and fry cutlets till evenly browned on both sides. Bring oil temperature up before dropping in the next batch of patties.
4. Formed patties can be frozen for a few weeks. Flash-freeze the patties on a tray or baking sheet. Then place them in Ziploc bags or airtight freezer containers and store in the freezer till needed. To make cutlets, remove as many patties as required, thaw them slightly and fry/bake as usual.
Enjoy piping hot, spicy fish cutlets as a quick snack or serve them up at a party. These are excellent for your upcoming Easter brunch party this weekend. I hope you have a great time!
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Do you like to munch on spicy snack foods when it rains? Have you tried fish cutlets? Do you make them any other way? Do try my recipe for Kerala fish cutlets and let me know how you like it.
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