Made with canned fish and chickpea flour (or any other flour you have on hand), these satisfying, budget- and pantry-friendly Indian-spiced fish patties can anchor a meal with their savory, bright flavor.
We're well-known meatball aficionados around here, really of anything formed into a patty or fritter, fish very much included. Tuna and salmon patties are regulars on our dinner rotation, and this Indian-spiced version is one of our favorites. They're easy to make, nutritious, and make a nice, quick meal alongside salad, roasted veg, or soup. The patties are pan-fried in a small amount of oil, which keeps them tender but with a nice, crisp crust.
About chickpea flour
Chickpea flour is a common ingredient in Indian recipes and great to have on hand if you enjoy Indian food. Indian chickpea flour (besan) is made with the smaller variety of chickpeas, while Western-style chickpea flour, also called garbanzo flour, is made with the larger variety of chickpeas, the kind used in making hummus. The two have a different flavor profile, but here you can use either type of flour. You can find chickpea flour in some grocery stores, like Whole Foods, online, or in Indian groceries. (According to the cRc, chickpea flour does not require a hechsher, but it's not hard to find one that is kosher certified.)
About garam masala
If you don't have garam masala in your spice cabinet, it's a great spice mix to add. Armed with garam masala and turmeric, you can add a (shortcut) hit of Indian flavor to just about anything. Garama masala, like many regional spice blends, varies considerably from cook to cook. It usually includes cumin, coriander, pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg or mace. Fennel and curry leaf are often included as well, and the whole spices are usually dry toasted before grinding. Garam masala is widely available as a premixed, powdered blend. Your local supermarket should have it. I've tried many different brands, as well as making my own, and though they really are different from one another, I've yet to find one I didn't enjoy.
Indian-Spiced Fish Patties (parve)
- 2 small cans salmon or tuna, or 1 larger can - 7 oz / 200g
- 1 shallot or ½ red onion
- 2 Tbsp cilantro - you can omit this if you don't have any on hand
- 1 egg
- ½ cup chickpea flour, or substitute any flour - 70 g
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp oil, or cooking spray - for frying
- Drain the fish and place it in a mixing bowl.
- Finely mince the shallot or onion and add it to the mixing bowl. If using cilantro, mince and add as well.
- Add the egg, flour, and spices. Mix to combine.
- Form the mixture into small, flat patties, about 2 ½" / 6 cm across. Heat pan with oil, it is best to have a nice thick layer of oil, it actually uses less this way. Once hot, form a patty with your hands and place in the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan. Once you begin to see browning on the bottom, flip it over and cook other side until golden. Remove to drain on paper towels.
- Lightly oil a skillet with the oil of your choice or with cooking spray and turn on the heat to medium-low. When hot, place the patties on the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes on the first side, until the patties are crisped and slightly golden. Turn and cook another 2-3 minutes on the second side.