Sri Lankan fish cutlets

Makes approx. 15 cutlets
45 minutes


  • 250g of floury potatoes
  • 3 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tin of mackerel, (400g), in tomato sauce, broken into flakes
  • 3 tbsp of coriander, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 200g of Panko breadcrumbs
  • oil, for deep-frying
  • curry leaves, fried until crisp, to garnish (optional)
  • chilli sauce, or ketchup, to serve


Place the potatoes in a pan of cold water, then bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain and allow to cool
While the potatoes cool, pour the vegetable oil into a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and fry gently for 5 minutes until soft but without colour, then add the green chillies, salt, pepper, curry powder, cumin and sugar. Cook for a further 2 minutes
Stir in the flaked mackerel and leave to gently cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
Meanwhile, peel the cooled potatoes and break up into small chunks. Once the fish mixture has been cooking for 15 minutes, stir in the lemon juice, potatoes and coriander, then remove from the heat and allow to cool
Once the mixture has cooled, roll the mixture into golf ball-sized balls weighing approximately 50g each
Bring a deep-fat fryer or deep pan of oil to 180°C. Meanwhile, place the eggs in one bowl and the breadcrumbs in another. Coat the balls in the eggs and then the breadcrumbs, ensuring they are completely coated
Deep-fry the cutlets (in batches, if needed), until golden brown and crisp all over. Serve immediately with a tomato or chilli sauce on the side and garnish with fried curry leaves, if using