Recipe: Griddle Fried Fish Cakes With Herb Butter

a house favorite fish 'tikki'

After reviewing Miri's latest cookbook: Bubbe & Me, I was tempted to share my recipe.. so here it is!

Griddle-Fried Fish Cakes with Herb Butter

This recipe was first served at one of my sold out secret suppers, called ‘Coastal Inspired’, in February of 2011, and has since become a house favorite. The delectable treat combines the flavors of tender white fish with the satisfaction of fried potatoes. Fish cakes are popular in eastern Indian states, and called Macher chop - they deep fried and croquette-like in texture. These fish cakes are simply pan fried, skipping the egg wash and breading. Crunchy on the outside and soft and flaky on the inside, they are a sure-fire delight. Choose a saltwater fish for this dish; traditional choices include catfish or cod.

For a vegetarian option that retains the texture, substitute the fish with minced tofu or paneer.

Makes: Twelve servings; 110 calories ea. Diet: Gluten-free, Non vegetarian Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time, Ease: 20 minutes, Moderately easy


1 tsp oil 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 small white onion, finely chopped 1 tsp ginger paste 1 tsp garlic paste 1-2 jalapenos, to taste, seeded and finely chopped 1 lb baking potatoes, boiled, skinned and mashed 1 lb any raw flaky white fish, cleaned and cut into very small pieces 1 tsp corn starch ½ tsp lemon juice Leaves from 10-12 stems of cilantro, finely chopped Salt, to taste

Oil for shallow frying


In a small saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon of oil. Add cumin seeds and allow them to release their flavors. Add the chopped onions, ginger paste, garlic paste, and jalapenos, and saute for 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat. In a separate container, mix the mashed potatoes, fish, cilantro, corn starch and lemon juice until well combined. Add salt and the seasoned onions to this mixture after it has cooled, and mix well. Grease your palms and divide and shape the mixture into 2" round patties. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to cook. Since you are working with raw fish, cook these patties within 15 minutes.

Heat a shallow frying pan and pour in about ¼" of oil. Slide in each patty one by one, taking care not to let them break or sputter. Lightly cover the pan to reduce sputtering, and cook the patties until golden on each side. Drain on a paper towel and serve immediately.

Alternately, spray the patties with oil and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 10 minutes on each side. Serve hot.

Herb Butter

This is a great make-ahead dipping sauce and goes well with toast and omelets too. For a vegan alternate use coconut butter or non-dairy, vegan margarine.

Makes: Twelve servings; 135 calories ea. Diet: Vegan adaptable, Jain, Ritual friendly, Vegetarian, Gluten-free Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time, Ease: 5 minutes, Easy


2 sticks salted butter 1 tbsp. fresh lemon thyme leaves 1 tbsp. white pepper powder


In a small saucepan, melt the butter with lemon thyme leaves and white pepper powder. Allow the thyme and pepper to sizzle and release their flavors into the butter. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Pour into an ice tray and cool until firm, or pour into serving bowls if serving immediately. Serve as a dipping sauce on the side.

This recipe first appeared in my first cookbook: A Dozen Ways to Celebrate: Twelve Decadent Indian Feasts For the Culinary Indulgent (2014), available on Amazon, iTunes, GooglePlay & Nook Books.


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Nandita Godbole

Once a botanist & landscape architect.

Now a personal chef & author, an artist, graphic designer, blogger & poet. 


Loves freshly brewed chai, the crisp salty ocean breeze, watching monsoon rains & walking barefoot through cold mountain streams. 


Believes in the strength, positivity of the human spirit. Is spiritual but not a fanatic. 


Mom of one. Two, if she counts her husband.