Kerala Style Tuna Cutlets

Canned tuna chunks

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  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 8-10 portions (8-10 servings)

Adding fish cutlets to your Indian food repertoire will open your dinner opportunities tremendously. As they are so easy to make and very versatile, you'll find this recipe a go-to for a quick meal any time of the day. Serve them with a dip or chutney like mint-coriander chutney, put them in a sandwich with mayonnaise, shape them like sausages, fry them and then roll them up with a leafy salad in a Paratha. The meal options are endless.


  • 2 (14-ounce) 400 grams cans of tuna (in brine or oil)
  • 1 medium-sized onion (chopped very fine)
  • 1/2 cup coriander (very finely chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons mint leaves (very finely chopped)
  • 2 green chilies (chopped very fine, optional but desirable for that extra 'kick')
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon amchur powder (raw mango powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • Dash salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup sooji (or semolina)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Steps to Make It

  1. Put the tuna chunks in a large, deep bowl and mash till the chunks are broken completely.

  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the semolina and the vegetable/sunflower/canola cooking oil. Mix well with a spoon or your hands till all the ingredients are perfectly blended.

  3. Spread half the sooji on a plate. You will dip the cutlets in it to coat them. This gives the cutlets a lovely, golden, slightly crispy outside!

  4. Form the fish mixture into 3" diameter patties/ sausage shapes and roll each cutlet in the semolina so that it is lightly coated on all sides.

  5. While you are doing this, heat enough cooking oil in a shallow frying pan, to pan/ shallow fry a few cutlets at a time. We will add more oil later as this oil gets used up. Only add as much as is needed for now.

  6. Pan fry a few cutlets at a time taking care not to crowd them in the pan. Watch carefully and turn as each side gets golden.

  7. The cutlets are done when they are crispy and golden on both sides. Drain on paper towels and serve hot with a dipping sauce like mint-coriander chutney or wrapped in a roll made with chapatis or parathas or in a sandwich.


  • Frying fish can leave a fishy smell in the house after the cooking is done. If possible, keep windows open during the cooking. If not, try to light some candles or use other mild air fresheners.
  • These cutlets are best served hot as soon as they are made. If you have leftovers, they can be stored in the refrigerator or frozen. Warm them on a baking sheet in the oven until they are hot and crispy.

Recipe Variations

  • To keep things as simple as possible, you can use canned tuna in this recipe but you could use fresh tuna and steam it before you start putting the cutlets together. You may find that with canned tuna the chunks in brine or in oil are best.
  • If you prefer, try another fish in this recipe. Canned or fresh salmon is an easy swap.