Goan Mackerel Croquettes recipe – the Goan-version of the popular fish cutlets, made with mackerel is inspired from Goa’s Portuguese heritage but there’s also a touch of Indian-ness with the clever use of spices.
Have you noticed how at a dinner party it is always the appetisers that steal the show? I’m both amused and a little bit irked at it. I slave and slave over the mains yet its always the easiest-to-put-together appetiser that everyone seems to polish off quickly with their drinks. In time I’ve learnt to focus my energy on making more-ish treats to begin with and these Goan mackerel croquettes always hit the spot! There’s never been a single one of them left over and there’s usually a little battle of sorts for the last one.
The Goan-version of the popular croquette is inspired from our Portuguese heritage (bears striking resemblance to the famed cod croquettes) as well as Spanish croquetas – but there’s also a touch of Indian-ness with the clever use of spices. Traditionally in Goa, these are coated with semolina but I prefer them with bread crumbs for a more visually and texturally better bite. Many a Goan bakery will usually have their variant of this croquette on their list of daily bakes and we all have our favourites.
My street food vendor of choice in Goa sells them sandwiched in a crusty Goan undo (bread) with a cabbage slaw beachside and I’ve spent many a Sunday evenings tucking into these. The recipe I share with you today is closest to how we make them at home, with a few changes I’ve made over time that further enhance every bite. One of those cheeky additions is the canned sardine fillets that I flake and add – they bring a certain surprise in taste in every other mouthful. It is not a mandatory step, but one I highly recommend. I also prefer using medium sized fresh mackerels instead of the large ones as the flesh holds its own much better.
Other than the element of tediously removing the fish flakes from the bones (which does take a fair bit of patience especially when making a big batch), the rest of the recipe is fairly easy. So grab that wok, get fryin!
Goan Mackerel Croquettes (Fish Cutlets)
- 10 Mackerels -medium size
- 2 Onions (finely chopped)
- 4 - 5 sardine Canned fillets (optional)
- 1 bunch coriander leaves Fresh
- 2 green chillies
- 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 1/4 tsp ginger paste
- 1/2 tsp tamarind pulp
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- 1.5 tbsp gram flour
- 300 ml water
- 2 Eggs
- 1.5 cups Breadcrumbs
- to taste salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper Fresh cracked
In a pot, add the mackerel pieces with salt and cracked pepper and let them come to a boil and cook through.
Once the mackerels have cooled, flake them and discard the bones. Be gentle to avoid making it mushy.
In a grinder, blend together finely the fresh coriander leaves, green chillies, tamarind pulp, ginger and garlic to make a thick paste.
Add the finely minced onion, flaked canned sardine fillets (if adding), the green paste, garam masala, gram flour and adjust salt and pepper as necessary.
Roll the croquettes into oval-shaped cutlets of equal size and keep them in the refrigerator for about 30minutes so they retain their shape while frying.
Whisk the eggs together and pour the breadcrumbs on a flat plate.
Once the oil is heated in the wok, roll the croquettes one by one in the egg wash and breadcrumbs and deep fry lightly. Be sure not to crowd the wok and fry until lightly browned (under a minute).
When done, transfer to kitchen towels to get rid of any excess oil. Serve hot.