Peter Kuruvita’s fish cutlets








For the fish cakes

  • 500g skinless bonito or tuna, cut into 4cm pieces
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 500g potatoes, cut into 4cm pieces,
  • 200ml coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped.
  • 6 curry leaf sprigs, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds roasted and ground
  • 3 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 3 teaspoons roasted and ground cumin seeds
  • 6 small green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt, to taste

For the crumb

  • Plain flour
  • Eggs, lightly beaten
  • Fine dry breadcrumbs


1. To cook the fish and potatoes

Sprinkle the fish with the freshly ground black pepper, then place in a steamer and simmer for 12 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

Cut the potatoes into large chunks and place in a pot of cold water and bring to the boil, cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain and dry the potatoes.

2. To make the fish cutlet mixture

Meanwhile, heat oil in a heavy-based frying pan over low heat and add the mustard seeds, when they start to pop add the onions, curry leaves and spices for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft but not brown.

Coarsely mash the potato and fish in a bowl. Add the chilli, onion mixture, lime and salt and combine well. Divide the mixture into even pieces, shape into balls, then flatten slightly with the palm of your hand to make 5cm thick discs.

3. To crumb and cook the cutlets

Dust the fish cutlets in flour, then dip in beaten egg and coat with breadcrumbs. Place on a baking paper-lined tray and stand for 10 minutes. Heat the remaining oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan to 180°C or until a cube of bread dropped in the oil browns in 15 seconds. Deep-fry the cutlets in batches until golden, then drain on absorbent paper and serve hot or cold.

As seen in autumn 2024

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