Spiced Fish Cakes With Tamarind Sauce | sheerluxe.com

Spiced Fish Cakes With Tamarind Sauce

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Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Serves 4

These fragrant fish cakes are packed full of fresh herbs and fluffy mash, making them soft and pillowy on the inside with a wonderfully crisp crust. A delicious way to spruce up any cheap white fish, the sweet and spicy tamarind and date sauce adds a lovely piquancy. Serve with a crisp salad.


  • 300g of potatoes, peeled and roughly diced
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 200g of white fish fillet (such as cod, haddock or pollock), skinless and boneless, chopped into 5mm dice
  • ¼ tsp of cumin seeds
  • 50g bunch of coriander, finely chopped
  • 25g bunch of parsley, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp of turmeric
  • Zest of ½ unwaxed lemon
  • 1 medium egg
  • Plain flour, for dusting
  • 3 tbsp of sunflower olive oil

For The Tamarind & Date Sauce:

  • 50g of tamarind pulp
  • 75g of Iranian or Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp of light brown sugar
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • Sea salt
  • 150ml of hot water


  1. Put the potatoes into a large pan and cover with cold water. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until tender. Drain, mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher, and place them in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the fish to the potatoes. Dry fry the cumin seeds in a small pan for a minute or so, until their aroma is released. Grind the seeds with a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder and then add them to the bowl, along with the fresh herbs, the fenugreek leaf, garlic, cayenne, turmeric, lemon zest, egg, 1¼ teaspoons of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.
  3. Using your hands, mix well, then mould into eight round patties. Dust with a little flour and place on a plate, then cover with cling film and chill.
  4. To make your sauce, meanwhile, place the tamarind and its soaking liquid, the dates, brown sugar, cayenne, cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Add the hot water and cook for 10 minutes over a low heat until the dates are very soft.
  5. Take the sauce off the heat and sieve into a bowl, using the back of a spoon to push as much of it through as you can.
  6. To finish the fish cakes, heat the oil in a frying pan and cook them on a medium-high heat for 6–8 minutes, turning every few minutes, until golden brown and well crusted. Garnish with parsley, and serve with the sauce in separate bowls, for everyone to dip into.


Recipe courtesy of The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan, photography by Matt Russell (Bloomsbury, £26)