Wednesday 11 June 2014

Fish Cutlet | Fish Tikki | Indian Style Fish Cakes | Gluten Free Fish Cakes | Fish Cutlets With And Without Bread Crumbs

Among cutlets, Fish cutlets are my most favorite ones. I am an ardent lover of chicken recipes but I always prefer fish cutlets rather than chicken cutlets. Try it and you'll know why. I will not call it an easy recipe, but at the same time it is not a tough one either, you can simply call it as a time-consuming one, yet its worth the effort. Ginger, garlic, cumin and coriander along with fish makes these cutlets flavorful and every bite will be delicacy. These cutlets can be prepared with or without breadcrumbs and that makes it a handy recipe as most people do not stock bread crumbs always in their pantry; Moreover it is gluten free too..!! I have provided a very detailed explanation of each and every step in making these cutlets, sorry I could not click any stepwise pictures; but am hopeful that I will be updating the recipe soon with stepwise pics as I frequently prepare these. There are some who find difficulty in making the perfect cutlets, so here I have provided a lot of tips and have tried my best to make the procedure clear even for beginner cooks. Am sure that this "no-fail" recipe will become your favorite, try and do let me know how your cutlets turned out.  


Makes 6 to 8 cutlets depending on the size and shapes
Total Preparation Time - 40 minutes
  1. Fish pieces - 4 (I used fresh barracuda fish/ooli/seela meen) 
  2. Potatoes - 2 (chicken egg sized ones) 
  3. Big onion - 1/2 
  4. Chopped coriander leaves - A handful
  5. Ginger-Garlic paste - 1 tablespoon  (or) grind 5 garlic pods & 2 inch long ginger piece
  6. Red chilli powder - 1 tablespoon 
  7. Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon 
  8. Egg - 1 
  9. Bread crumbs - As needed (optional) 
  10. Salt - As required 
  11. Oil - As required for shallow frying cutlets
Cutlets without bread crumbs


Steam Fish Pieces; Remove Bones and Shred Them: 
  • Clean fish pieces well and drain water. 
  • Steam the fish pieces using an idly pot or use your own method. Do not boil the fish pieces as it will turn mushy. For step by step instructions (along with pictures) on how to steam fish check my fish manchurian recipe
  • After steaming remove the bones from fish pieces and shred it well using your fingers or a fork. Set aside. 
Boil or Steam or Pressure Cook Potatoes:
  • Wash potatoes well in water. Now take a cooker and place the potatoes pour enough water to cover them. Close the pressure cooker with a lid and pressure cook for 10 minutes on medium flame. 
  • Then remove from flame, drain water and set the cooked potatoes aside until it cools down well. 
  • Then peel the skin. (if the potatoes have got cooked well the skin will come off easily) 
  • Now mash the potatoes well using a masher or with the back of a ladle or using your fingers and set aside. See that there are no big lumps. 
Cutlet Mixture Preparation: 
  • Place a pan on flame and pour 3 tablespoons of oil. After the oil heats up, saute chopped finely onions until they turn slightly brown. Then add ginger-garlic paste and saute on low flame for a minute. 
  • Now add a handful of chopped coriander leaves and saute until the leaves shrink.  Add red chilli powder, cumin powder and salt. Saute until the raw smell leaves. 
  • Now add the shredded fish pieces and stir well so that it gets mixed up well with the masala. Saute for a minute on low flame.
  • Now add the mashed potatoes and give a nice mix. Stir well and remove from flame and set aside until the mixture cools down to room temperature. Then give a nice mix with a ladle or spoon. 
Shape Cutlets and Pan Fry Them: 
  • Beat an egg; add a warm pinch of salt and beat again. Set aside. (You will need this to dip the cutlets). This is going to be the alternative for breadcrumbs coating.
  • Shape cutlets anyway you want, a flat round shaped patty is the common one and it will be easier for you to pan fry such shaped cutlets. Just pinch out equal sized balls from the prepared mixture and flatten them between your palms. See that they have a thickness of 2 cms. 
  • Now place a nonstick pan (a flat tawa or the dosa pan will do) on flame and pour some oil. Wait until the oil heats up, then dip a cutlet in the beaten egg mix and place on the pan. Do the same with the rest of the cutlets and fry them. (Fry in batches do not crowd the pan; see that there is enough space between the cutlets while frying)
  • Flip the cutlets pour a teaspoon of oil around them and fry until both sides turn brownish;. This may take just a few minutes. As your cutlet mixture has already got cooked you don't have to fry them for a long time. 
  • Now remove from flame and serve hot with ketchup or chutney. 
If Using Bread Crumbs: (optional)
  • Spread bread crumbs in a wide plate. 
  • Dip the cutlets in beaten egg and place on bread crumbs; coat it well on all sides; then gently shake to dust off the excess bread crumbs. Then pan fry them. 

TIP 1: To avoid cutlets from breaking while frying make sure to follow the following; 
1. See that you chop the onions very fine. Bigger pieces will make the patties fall apart while pan frying. 
2. Mash potatoes well so that there are no lumps.
3. Never add even a drop of water while preparing the cutlet mixture. 
4. While shaping the cutlets flatten them well between your palms and make sure to give a gentle pressure all around so that they stay together.
5. While frying the cutlets see that you flip sides gently using a flat spatula. 
6. Using breadcrumbs is not really necessary but using them to coat your cutlets makes them more solid and stable.

TIP 2: You can add some mint leaves to give the cutlets a nice flavor. Adding garam masala suppresses the flavor of fish so I prefer not to use them, but if you still like to, add in minimal levels. 

TIP 3: Never boil fish as it will turn mushy and tasteless. Just steam the fish pieces; I used baracuda you can use any fish variety that has fewer bones. 

Tastiest fish cakes are now ready.. Serve as a snack or even as sides with rice and a curry!! 
I love it as sides with dal rice


  1. mouthwatering snack dear... so yum...

  2. I love fish cutlets Divya, and yours look really nice. It's been a while since I made cutlets, I think it's time, lol! I am going to make some tonight. Thanks for the dinner inspiration :)

  3. should try this fish cutlets for my kids, very well made and presented !!

  4. Divya send me some fish tikki pl..craving for some right now.

  5. My most favourite variety of cutlet da, i can have 3 in one go :) too tempting and wonderful captures.


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