Fish Cutlets

I have made Kerala Style Fish Cutlets for many occasions but somehow never got to post the recipe. These fish cutlets make an excellent appetizer along with Kerala Onion Salad (Sarlas). I have tried both Canned Fish as well as Fresh Fish Fillets for making these cutlets.  Here is the recipe for yummy fried fish cutlets.

Kerala Style Fish Cutlets

Kerala Style Fish Cutlets


  1. Canned Tuna Fish – 2 cans ( I used Chunk Light tuna in water)
  2. Potato – 2  medium
  3. Very Finely Diced Onions – 1 big
  4. Finely chopped Green Chillies – 2 or 3 (Alter according to your spice tolerance)
  5. Finely Minced Ginger – 2 tbsp
  6. Finley Minced Garlic – 3 to 4 cloves
  7. Curry Leaves (finely shredded) – A few
  8. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  9. Red Chilly Powder – 1 tsp (Alter according to your spice tolerance)
  10. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  11. Garam Masala Powder – 1/2 tsp
  12. Fennel Seeds Powder – 1/4 tsp (optional)
  13. Black Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
  14. Fish Masala Powder – 1 tbsp (Optional – I used store bought Eastern Fish Masala brand)
  15. Oil – 2 tbsp
  16. Salt – to taste
  17. Egg – 1
  18. Bread Crumbs – 1/2 cup approx
  19. Cooking Oil for frying – As needed

Preparation Method

  1. Boil the potato along with salt until well cooked. Allow it to cool and then remove the skin. Mash it thoroughly until there are no chunks (Alternatively, you can pressure cook the potato until cooked).
  2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and saute onions until translucent.
  3. Add green chillies, ginger, garlic and curry leaves and saute for a few more minutes.
  4. Add red chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, fish masala powder (optional), pepper powder, fennel seeds powder (optional) and garam masala powder. Saute for 2 minutes.
  5. Drain the water or oil from the tuna and add it to the pan along with salt to taste. If using fish fillets instead of canned fish, see the note section.
  6. Mix everything well and saute the tuna for around 10 minutes. Allow it to cool.
  7. In a large bowl, combine the cooked fish and mashed potatoes using your hands. Do a taste test and add more salt if needed.
  8. Make lemon sized balls using your palm and flatten the balls to form cutlets of any desired shape. Place it on a plate or tray.
  9. Beat the egg in a bowl and keep aside. Take bread crumbs in a plate and keep aside.
  10. Take one cutlet at a time and dip it in the beaten egg and then roll it in the bread crumbs until the cutlet is fully coated with bread crumbs.
  11. Once all cutlets have been coated with bread crumbs, heat a non stick frying pan and add oil as required for deep frying or shallow frying.
  12. Place the cutlets slowly in the pan and fry each side on medium heat for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Drain onto paper towels.
  13. Serve these tasty fish cutlets with ketchup, onion salad, mint chutney or any dip.


  1. You can use Fish Fillets instead of Canned Fish. I have made these fish cutlets with Tilapia Fillets and it tasted good.
  2. If using skinless & boneless fillets, wash it thoroughly and cut it into medium sized pieces. Follow the same procedure. While cooking the fish, stir frequently with a spatula so that the fish breaks down into small pieces. You need to saute the fillets for around 15 minutes.
  3. Alternatively, you can microwave the fillets for 4-5 minutes until tender. Shred the fillets using a fork and then saute it with the other ingredients in the same manner. This will reduce the cooking time.
  4. If using Fish with bones like King Fish, boil the fish with salt and turmeric until done. Remove the bones and shred the fish. Saute it with the remaining ingredients.
  5. You can easily make 20 cutlets with 2 Cans of Tuna.
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4 comments to Fish Cutlets

  • lathatk

    thank you jisha for this wonderful recipe. it is excellent as an appetizer.

  • Pratiba

    Hello there,

    Your Palappam Recipe is THE BEST and most accurate one on the web yet. Thank You for that. It is much appreciated. 🙂

    Merry Christmas!!


  • merlin


    I have never made fish cutlet before, for the reason that it will smell of fish. But I gave a try and it came out amazing. Thanks a lot for changing my mindset.

  • Monisha

    This is one of the best tuna cutlets recipe’s. I deleted the other recipes I had

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