Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Spicy Tuna Cutlet



Since Ro visited the doc the other day, he's been on my trip to make food that's rich in iron. Now other than Palak (which again i only know the usual palak paneer, palak aloo, dal) i really don't know what else is rich in iron. I am anaemic and it would do me good as well. So after doing some research we found out that oily fish like tuna is rich in iron. I detest eating sea food and among the list of other oily fish, tuna was the only acceptable one to me because i could make cutlets out of it and masala-fy it so much, it hardly tastes of fish. A friend of mine, here in UK, suggested cutlets and said they were easy to make if you buy the tuna in cans. Making beef cutlets were a task and so i quit making them long time back. This was my second attempt at making tuna cutlets and they came out really well. You can make them in plenty and freeze them and they come as a really big help on a rainy day when you are in no mood to cook and cant go out either.
I was also having this conversation about tuna to a blogger friend and she said it was way too expensive to waste on cutlets. Well, what i think is, making cutlets would thoroughly make it worth buying an expensive can of tuna....one because you get about 30 small cutlets out of a 400gm tuna can, and two...it will last you a long time if you freeze it. Whereas if you make a curry or masala fry out of it, I'm sure it will vanish in seconds. Just a thought! Do give it a shot the next time you pick up a can.

Here is the recipe:
Canned tuna- 400gms in brine (tuna in brine, water or oil..any of it is fine).
Potato- 1 large (ones we get here are humongous so i used only one) or 2 if medium sized
Onions- 1 large (white or red) diced into thin, small pieces
Green chillies- 4 sliced into small pieces
Ginger garlic paste- 2 tsp
Coriander pwd- 1 tsp
Pepper pwd- 1 tsp
Biriyani masala- 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice- 1 tsp
Oil- 2 tbs
Salt- to taste

To fry:
Egg- 1
Bread crumbs
Oil- enough to shallow fry

Open the tuna can and completely drain out the liquid.
In a wok heat the oil and throw in the onions and green chillies. When golden brown, add the Ggp, mix well till the raw smell dies. Now add the tuna chunks and mix well, breaking it into finer pieces. After the 'fishy' smell has completely gone, add the biriyani masala, coriander pwd and the salt required. Mix at intervals for about 8 to 10 minutes and then add the lime juice and pepper pwd. Make sure the mixture is not too dry and doesn't stick to the vessel. If so, add some more oil. Take it off the flame after about 5 to 6 minutes and keep aside.
Wash and boil the potato. I used the microwave method for this, as it is faster and more convenient. Alternatively, you can boil it or pressure cook with water. Once its done, peel and mash the potato with a masher, fork or your hands. Make sure there are no lumps. Add the mashed potato to the tuna and mix well with your hands. You can increase spiciness, salt, lime juice etc. at this stage if it isn't enough.
Make small balls out of the mixture and shape it in whichever way you like (round or oval).

Beat the egg and keep a plate with the bread crumbs ready. Dip each ball into the egg, roll it in the bread crumbs and if you are not frying them immediately, at this stage you can freeze them. Use zip lock bags or a plastic container and place the cutlets apart, without touching one another, so its easier to take out the required number and thaw them later.
Whereas if you are frying it, beat the egg and keep a plate with the bread crumbs ready. Dip each ball into the egg, roll it in the bread crumbs and shallow fry in hot oil till both sides are brown.



Notes: I got about 30 small cutlets from a 400gm tuna can. Double it if you want to make more.
You can also use the tuna mix (before you shape them) for sandwiches. Will post a recipe for that later
Like i mentioned before, i have masala-fied it to take the fishiness off. You can reduce the masala to suit your taste
If you do not have bread crumbs, you can make them on your own. Place a few slices of bread in the microwave and heat on high for about 3 minutes, or till they become crispy. Break them into smaller pieces and grind them in a mixer till they are fine and powdery. Alternatively, you can put the pieces in a zip lock bag and crush with a mallet.

11 comments:

Shades of Grey said...

Ah Ha! I cannot believe you tagged me in this one! In my defence - tuna cans here cost Rs 120 for 75 GRAMS!!! I get a KILO of beef/chicken for approx the same price. Plus I see you added potato to your cutlets which adds substance. I add fried bread crumbs to mine - else we'll have to eat it with rice like pickle. It's a luxury to be honest. I love tuna - I wish God could give it to us for free...

An Open Book said...

Wow 120 for 75gms is too much..dint know it was that exp. And how long does it last fr u?

Reflections said...

Personally I find it too much of a headache but I love eating them;-D
SO whenever I go from here I carry tuna tins for my mom so tht she can make them for me.

Ur cutlets look really yummy:-))!!!!

Enigma said...

hehe Tuna is my favourite and i make Tuna cutlets a lot too (or rather used to make!!!) I too make it spicy and all but hav never added any biriyani masala mix...
I know that its very expensive in India, but since we always used to bring a ton to India, i have freely used it...Its a commonly used stuff here so various varieties of Tuna in can is abundant here...
And i make the easiest of curries for chappathi, khubooz etc with Tuna... its very easy to make many dishes with it... Only thing is that its best to know the difference between white tuna and light Tuna..
Ahh ur recipe made me think abt making it, but dont think i will :P
but recently i did try the naadan stuff like kozhukatta and vattayappam :)

An Open Book said...

Reflections: I think this was easier than the beef cutlet. That totally put me off the first time i tried it and havent given it a shot henceforth.
Enigma: I havent tried making anything else with tuna. I am not sure i'l like the taste if its in a curry etc. This was totally masalafied and it hardly tasted like fish.
Kozhukatta and all huh..sho kothi varunnu:(
have no clue how to make em

Enigma said...

humm nishi believe me its very easy to make them...hummm i will give u a link below from food blogs, look through and try to make... i was able to make them fast...

http://www.mariasmenu.com/vegetarian/kozhukatta

Shades of Grey said...

Yup it's expensive cos it's all imported. People here are not too big on canned food. And why would they be with a coast line like ours? It lasts us for just one meal. Well that's cos I don make any other side dish - max a morru curry. Tuna is not great as a curry - well not shredded any way.

Any one know the Tamil/Malayalam/Hindi word for tuna? I have only ever seen it shredded in a can.

An Open Book said...

enigma... yeah id seen it on marias menu and was thinking how to go about it..rice flour onnum ividey kittilla..atleast not in the super markets..i might have 2 go to a mallu store or something. I cant take all that pain di:) want it made and given to me:)
Jane- yeha i don know about tuna as a curry..so i havent experimented..but should be easy though. My cutlets are almost over:)

Enigma said...

Nishi its ready made podi available .... just have to use that ...aiyooo
And belive me Tuna can be experimented with...thats if u guys get the right type of canned tune..there r some varieties which r too podery shredded and hav the fishy smell... but there r really good ones too and u can make a lot of things with it.. no fish taste as such and no smell... Infact everyone here loves it wen i make curries with it... and i add coconut milk too most of the time and make it more of an yellowish , whitish curry so we have it with bread, chappathi, the arab breads etc etc...
and jane, we do get fresh tune in markets in india.. And surprisingly wen we used to go to the fish market, the guys there used to tell the english name to us..they tell a malayalam name and then they specify its tuna...hehe

An Open Book said...

Hmmm i should check out the ready made podi then....hey if u have any recipe fr the tuna curry...pass it on. Will try it out

An Open Book said...

...and the malayalam name for tuna is choora ...googled it :)