Indian Spice Fish Cakes

Last week we had another get together for our wine club (you can read all about it on another post). The theme was sparkling white wine and seafood. I thought about making crab cakes from a Floyd Cardoz recipe. Floyd is the chef for Tabla in NY, one of my favorite restaurants. I’d already made the crab cakes once before and they turned out really good. But I was in the mood for something a bit different so I decided to modify the recipe and turn it into fish cakes.

The recipe is pretty easy and I was actually surprised how well it turned out. We ended up making it again for a catering order my wife had and we made extra which we froze. We’ve been reheating them and eating them either as a fish burger or in a pita with mayo, chilli sauce, lettuce and tomatoes. Tastes really good, it’s healthy and convenient. What more could you want?

Here’s the recipe.


– 2 Fillets Tilapia (you can substitute cod or even salmon)

– 3 or 4 large boiled potatoes

– Ginger paste

– Garlic Paste

-2 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

-2 1/2 coriander seeds

-1 tsp cayenne -1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)

-1 cup diced onion

– 1/2 cup tomato

– 2 limes

– sea salt

– pepper

– italian breadbrumbs

– canola oil

In a food processor blend a 3 inch piece of ginger with about 6 or 7 garlic cloves. Boil water in a pot, add about half the ginger & garlic paste, add the juice of 1 lime, add salt per preference, 2 tsp of pepper. Add the fish. Once the fish is fully cooked remove it form the water and put in a large bowl. Flake the fish using the back of a knife.

While the fish is being cooked, heat the coriander and cumin seeds until they darken in color. It should only take a few minutes. Once cool grind these into a powder. If you have access to an indian market you can buy this already prepared. 

In a saucepan add a couple of teaspoons of oil. Add the onions, cumin and coriander powder, cayenne, turmeric and balance of ginger – garlic paste. Stir in and then add the tomotoes. Cook on low to medium heat for about 15-20 minutes.

Mash the boiled potatoes and add this to the fish. Once the sauce is done, also add this to the fish and potato mixture. Add the juice from the lime (I like a little extra lime juice, add more if you do as well). Add salt and pepper to taste. Add 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs. If the mix feels too wet and soft, add another 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs. Thoroughly mix.

Spread breadcrumbs in a plate. Roll a ball of the fish mixture and flatten in your hands to create a patty. Roll in the breadcrumbs. In a pan add a couple of tablespoons of oil. Don’t add too much oil otherwise your fish cakes will be way too greasy. Heat to a moderate level. Saute for a few minutes on each side. You want them golden brown. Place on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.

Ideally serve them warm. You can store them by letting them cool and then freezing them.

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