SRI LANKAN Fish Patties

Posted by Gavin Britto on


For the filling

  • 250 g(9 oz) potatoes
  • 3 tbsp plus 500 ml(17 fl oz/generous 2 cups) oil, for deep-frying
  • 1medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2.5 cm(1 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tspground turmeric
  • ½ tspground cumin
  • ¼ tspground cinnamon
  • ¼ tspground cloves
  • 1 tspground black pepper
  • 300 g(10½ oz) fresh tuna (steamed and flaked) or canned tuna (drained weight, broken into chunks)
  • 1 tbspdill, finely chopped
  • 2 tspsalt
  • juice of ½ lime

For the pastry

  • 300 g(10½ oz/ 2⅓ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ½ tspsalt
  • 3 tbspbutter
  • 1egg yolk
  • 60 ml(2 fl oz/¼ cup) coconut milk

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Make the filling

Wash the potatoes and boil them with skins on for about 15 minutes until cooked. Take them off the heat and leave to cool. Then, peel off the skins and finely chop.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a low heat and sauté the onions, garlic and ginger, until the onions are soft and turning golden.

Add the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon and ground cloves and pepper and stir well. Add the fish and dill, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the potato and salt and mix well. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Squeeze in the lime and take the pan off the heat.

Make the pastry

Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour mixture until it turns into crumbs. Beat the egg yolk and mix it into the crumbs. Then gradually pour in the coconut milk while kneading the mixture into a soft, pliable dough. You may need to add a little extra flour or water to get the right consistency.

Wrap the dough in clingfilm (plastic wrap) and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Break the dough in half and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is about ½ cm (¼ inch) thin. Use a pastry cutter to make six circles about 5–6 cm (2–2½ inches) in diameter.

Put 1 tablespoon of the fish mixture on one of the pastry circles. Lightly beat the egg whites, then dip your finger in it and apply it along the edge of the pastry circle. Fold the pastry over to make a half-moon shape and gently press together to seal.

Using a fork, press along the edge of the half circle so that the patty is well sealed, then put it on a tray. Repeat this process with the second batch of dough.

Bring the 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 generous cups) of oil to boiling point in a deep saucepan, then reduce the heat to medium. Slide the patties into the pan in batches of five or six and deep-fry for about 3 minutes until golden brown, turning them as they cook. Remove with a slotted spoon and lay on kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil.

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