A fish dish for monsoon days

Rajni Menon’s simple fish cakes conjure memories of cold, rainy monsoon days in Kerala spent sipping tea, crunching on a cake and watching the rain.

Fish is an integral part of the cuisine of Kerala in tropical southwest India. Since this is a coastal region, off the Arabian Sea, a variety of fresh fish is always available. Fish is used not only in making curries and dry dishes but also in cakes that are usually served as a snack for evening tea, their crunchy, savory aspect complementing the sweet, milky tea. Any white fish, like cod, halibut or red snapper, will do, but I have made my version with salmon. On cold, rainy monsoon days in Kerala, I loved to sip a cup of hot tea and nibble on the crunchy cakes while watching the rain. I hope this dish will bring fond memories to you as well.

Simple fish cakes

  • 1 portion salmon, skinless
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium size russet potato, boiled and mashed
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (or a mixture of 2 cloves, ½ teaspoon cinnamon stick, 2 green cardamoms and ½ star anise roasted and powdered)


  1. Heat coconut oil in a deep, medium-sized pan.
  2. Add shallots and sauté until translucent. Add minced garlic and sauté well. 
  3. Add the salmon, salt, black pepper and garam masala and cover the pan, steaming the fish until cooked through. Once cooked, shred it with a fork in the pan and combine well with the shallots.
  4. Add cilantro leaves and mix well. Turn off the heat and transfer this mixture to a bowl.
  5. To that bowl, add the mashed potatoes and breadcrumbs. Make patties and shallow fry them for 2 minutes per side on medium heat. Enjoy them with hot, milky tea.

For more, visit creativerajni.com.

Written By
More from Rajni Menon
Fabulous food from the land of the coconuts
Scarsdale-based chef and artist Rajni Menon joins WAG as its What’s Cooking?...
Read More
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *