Sri Lankan Fish Cutlets

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Cutlets are the little bad boys of Sri Lankan short eats. Little crispy balls filled with a spicy tuna and potato filling, they are absolutely cracking alongside a tomato dip and a strong cuppa tea. Traditionally they are eaten as a snack or a starter to a meal. 

Makes: 50 cutlets

Time: 1 hour


For the filling:

  • 500g potatoes - peeled, boiled and smashed

  • 300g tuna - tinned/fresh

  • 1/2 chopped white onion - finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or vegetable oil

  • 5 green chillies - finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon of ground pepper

  • salt to taste

  • 1/2 lime - squeezed

  • 1 sprig of curry leaves, finely chopped

Outer coating:

  • Breadcrumbs

  • 1 egg, mixed well



  1. Heat the coconut oil in a pan, once hot add in the onions and curry leaves and leave to sweat

  2. Turn the heat to medium and add in the green chillies, and tuna, cook for a further few minutes

  3. Turn the heat to low and add in the potatoes, salt, pepper and lime juice. Stir everything together on the low heat for a further minute

  4. Turn the heat off, taste the mixture and add more seasoning or lime juice if needed. Stir with the heat off for a further minute to ensure all the ingredients are mixed in well

Outer coating:

  1. Once the tuna mix has cooled down a little, take a heaped teaspoon of the mixture and gently roll into a small ball

  2. Take the tuna ball and dip into the egg, and then coat with breadcrumbs

  3. Coat the balls again with egg and breadcrumbs (so they are coated twice)

Cooking and Storage:

  1. Once the cutlets are prepared they are best stored in the freezer for up to 6 months

  2. To cook from frozen make sure the cutlets are defrosted, or if cooking fresh they can be cooked straight away

  3. Heat up a deep fat fryer, once hot add in the cutlets and fry for 3-4 minutes, occasionally turning them. Once golden brown, strain and leave to rest for a minute on some kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil

  4. Serve piping hot! :)