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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Food » Recipe: Tapioca and Fish Cutlets

Recipe: Tapioca and Fish Cutlets

By Chef MANOJ SHARMA
December 16, 2022 17:14 IST
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Kappa Shappu Meen Curry is one of Kerala's most glorious dishes and is relished by locals at toddy shops.

The boiled tapioca is garnished with coconut and curry leaves, and when teamed with the spicy red fish curry it's a heavenly meal.

Chef Manoj Sharma gives the state's favourite kappa and meen combo a new definition via his Tapioca Fish Cutlets.

For the filling, he uses surmai (seer fish) or mackerel along with curry leaves, coconut and shallots.

Chef Sharma is game to try his hand at any kind of cuisine, but prefers trying new pan-Asian dishes.

Photograph: Kind courtesy RCB Bar and Cafe

Tapioca Fish Cutlets

Ingredients

For the fish stuffing

  • 10 ml coconut oil
  • 100 gm surmai (or use mackerel)
  • 10 gm shallots, finely chopped
  • 5 gm ginger, grated
  • 5 gm garlic, finely chopped
  • 20 gm Kashmiri chilly powder, mix it with a few tsp of water
  • ½ tbsp dhania or coriander powder
  • ¼ tbsp saunf or saunf powder
  • ¼ tbsp haldi or turmeric powder
  • Few methi or fenugreek seeds
  • ¼ tbsp black pepper powder
  • Few curry leaves, torn
  • Salt to taste

For the fritters

  • ½ kg tapioca
  • 100 gm surmai, cooked and shredded (or use mackerel)
  • 10 gm shallots, finely chopped
  • Few curry leaves
  • Small piece ginger, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic pods, chopped
  • ¼ cup grated coconut
  • 2-3 tsp coconut oil
  • 10 gm chilly flakes
  • 1 tsp haldi or turmeric powder
  • Oil to deep fry
  • Salt to taste
  • Breadcrumbs

Method

For the fish stuffing

  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the coconut oil.
    Add the torn curry leaves, chopped shallots, garlic, ginger, fenugreek seeds.
    Saute for 2-3 minutes.
    Add the fennel powder, pepper, red chilly powder paste.
    Add the fish.
    Season with salt and fry till the fish is cooked.
    Take off heat.
    Cool.
    Shred and keep aside.

For the fritters

  • Clean, peel and chop the tapioca into medium-sized pieces.
  • Boil water in a large saucepan and add little salt and turmeric.
    Once the water boils, add the chopped tapioca.
    Cook for 10-15 minutes over medium-high heat till done.
    Take off heat.
    Cool and mash with a fork.
  • Transfer the mashed tapioca into a bowl.
    Add the shredded fish, chopped shallots, torn curry leaves, chopped garlic, ginger, grated coconut, coconut oil, chilly flakes and mix well. 
    Knead to make a crumbly mixture.

For assembly

  • Divide the tapioca mixture into equal portions and roll into 2-inch to 3-inch diameter balls.
    Flatten each ball in the palm of your hand and place a small quantity of the fish stuffing in the middle and close.
  • Spread the breadcrumbs on a flat plate.
  • Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed kadhai or frying pan over medium heat.
  • Roll the stuffed cutlets in the breadcrumbs.
    Fry the cutlets, three or four at a time, till golden.
    Flip halfway so both sides are evenly fried.
    Once done, drain each cutlet onto a tissue or paper towel-lined plate.
  • Serve hot with ketchup or green chilly sauce.

Chef Manoj Sharma of RCB Bar and Cafe

Chef Manoj Sharma is the executive chef at RCB Bar and Cafe, a pub owned by Diageo India in Bengaluru.

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Chef MANOJ SHARMA