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Deep fried-curried fish patties(Sri Lankan).

Deep fried-curried fish patties.

A step-by-step guide on how to make these savory deep-fried fish patties(empanadas)at home.

The savory half moon, handheld mini pies are the perfect appetizer for any time. 

With a curried fish filling and crispy deep-fried dough, it’s no wonder these  fish patties are popular among the young and old.

Every country has its own version of these fish patties. 
Empanadas, Cornish pasties, Brazilian pastel are some of the names you might be familiar with.  

 
Deep fried-Sri Lankan curried fish patties. A step-by-step guide on how to make these savory Sri Lankan snacks at home.

Deep-fried Fish patties(empanadas)make the best holiday appetizers

Because they can be made in large batches, premade, frozen AND       stay crispy throughout the day, these curried Sri Lankan snacks are perfect for any occasion.

Take them to your next new year office or family party or
Pack them for a picnic.

Serve them as a starter, appetizer for the holiday parties at your home.

Wherever you decide to serve them, these fish patties are definitely going to be a hit with everyone.

Cheap ingredients but makes the best budget bytes for any occasion.

Yes, you will need 13 ingredients to make these curried fish patties but you know what?

These ingredients are really, really inexpensive and can be easy to double and make 50 to 100 fish patties without breaking your budget.

If you make a big batch of these, they’ll make the ideal after school lunch snacks or add them to the school lunch box.

And you can make the empanadas ahead of time, they come really handy when the Ramadan fasting begins.

Sri Lankan fish patties- all the ingredients you will need to make this Sri lankan snack.
Thank you note to my readers.

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Deep fried-curried fish patties. A step-by-step guide on how to make these savory deep-fried fish patties(empanadas)at home. The savory half moon, handheld mini pies are the perfect appetizer for any time.  With a curried fish filling and crispy deep-fried dough, it's no wonder these  fish patties are popular among the young and old.

Utensils and appliances needed.

Chopping board/knife
Large bowl to mix ingredients
Medium-sized pan
A flat surface to make fish patties.
Two trays.
Two kitchen towels.
Empanada mold
Deep frying pan
Platter with kitchen towels.

Workflow to make the Sri Lankan fish patties.

  • Gather all the necessary ingredients.
  • Boil the potatoes and have them ready.
  • Make the spicy curry filling.
  • Make the empanada dough.
  • Use a mold to fill and press the fish patties into shape.
  • Deep fry the fish patties.

Beginner’s tip on making deep-fried curried fish patties.

  • When making the fish patties(empanadas)there are a few places you can go wrong, knowing them and avoiding them can save you from first-timer’s mistakes.
  • The filling has to be dry, not too oily so make sure to use less oil.
Sri Lankan fish patties filling- a dry spicy filling to fill the empanadas.
  • The dough, you need to be pliant, not too dry but turns crispy and soft when deep-fried. 

  • The dough should not be too sticky or too dry.
  • For you to get the dough right, keep an eye on the amount of water you add, you definitely won’t want to dump the amount of water mentioned at once. 
    Add water gradually to get the right consistency starting with 1/4 cup of water, working the dough and then adding water as you need. 
  • Make the tuna filling first so the dough will not dry.
  • Once the dough is made, keep it covered with a kitchen towel as you do not want it to dry. 
  • When I mention onions and chillies chopped, make sure they are cut into smaller pieces. 
  • Do not add more than 1 tablespoon of filling, too much of it will lead to the fish patties split open as they are made or fried.
  • Make a paste with a tablespoon of flour and a tablespoon of water, mix and use it to seal the fish patties if you see them opening up while you are making them.  

Can I use the microwave to reheat leftover fish patties?

I would suggest reheating the fish patties in an oven for 10 minutes in 150-160C rather than microwaving it.
I find once you microwave it, the patties turn slightly soggy.

What other dough can I substitute the fish pattie dough with?

You can try the Pillsbury pie crust dough or any other pre-made pie crust dough.

How can I freeze the fish patties for later use?

Place them in a tray covered with a baking sheet.
Make sure the fish patties are not touching each other, freeze them and later transfer the frozen fish patties into a plastic container.
These fish patties can be stored in the freezer for almost three months.

How can I defrost the frozen fish patties(empanadas)?

Remove them from the freezer and when slightly thawed, place the fish patties in a tray to defrost further. 
Once they are at room temperature, deep fry them.

Do I need to freeze fish patties if I am frying it the next day?

No, just place them on the baking tray covered with parchment paper and refrigerate.

There’s no need to freeze them if you are frying them the next day.

More Sri Lankan snacks you might like to try.

Sri Lankan fish cutlets.

Sri Lankan fish buns(maalu paan).

Lentil fritters(Sri Lankan parippu vadai)

Deep fried-curried fish patties(Sri Lankan).

Watch the short video guide above to help you make the fish patties.

Please make sure to read the recipe instructions carefully to avoid mistakes.

Ingredients

Ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.

To make the spicy curry tuna filling

2-3 tablespoons of oil

3-4 curry leaves chopped fine

1 large onion chopped fine
2 green chillies chopped fine
1 teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon of raw curry powder
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon of chillie powder

1 can of jack mackerel(substitute with two cans of tuna steak)

2 medium-sized potato boiled thoroughly and skin removed.
Salt to season

To make the dough
2 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons of butter
1 egg slightly beaten
1 cup 1/2 cup of water(use water as needed to get the correct consistency)
1 teaspoon salt

Method.

How to make the dry curry fish filling.

As mentioned on the beginner’s tips, you’ll want to avoid making a slightly oily fish filling.

Have all the ingredients chopped and ready. drain preservative juice from the tuna/jack mackerel can. 

Boil the potatoes, peel and have them ready. the Potatoes need to be boiled until they are easy to smash, 20-30 minutes over medium-high heat. 

Making the filling.

Place a pan over low-medium heat and pour 3 tablespoons of oil.

Once the oil heats, add the chopped curry leaves, ginger-garlic paste and cook the ingredients until they release their aroma.

Add the onions, green chillies, raw curry powder(1/2 tsp), turmeric(1/2 tsp),black pepper(1 tsp), red chilli powder(1 tsp), make sure to add the ingredients in the given order over low heat, constantly stir to avoid burning the spices and combine for 2 minutes.

Once the spices are done, add the flaked tuna/jack mackerel to the pan and combine, season with salt, mix until combined well.

Once you’ve mixed the flaky fish with the spices and cooked until well combined, remove the pan from the stove and then add the boiled potatoes. 

Break down the potatoes into smaller pieces, mix well with the rest of the ingredients, taste and season with salt if necessary.

The reason we add the potatoes after cooking the fish filling is that the potatoes are boiled and will easily mix into the fish filling while absorbing all the flavors.

And the most important reason is they will absorb any extra oil and maintain the slightly dry texture of the filling.

How to make the fish patties/empanada dough.

Use a large bowl or a flat surface to make the dough.

Add the flour, salt, butter, egg and gently combine all the ingredients.

Mix or work the dough with your fingers, combine the flour mixture by gathering them from the edge and working them inwards.

Add 1/4 cup of water(read beginner’s notes)while you continue mixing the flour mixture, you’ll notice the flour mixture turning crumbly, continue working the dough.

Keep kneading(adding teaspoons of water should you find the dough dry)until you have a smooth dough.

Place dough in a bowl and cover to avoid the dough drying.

How to shape the fish patties.

You can shape the fish patties into half moons using a mold or by hand.

Using a mold.
Brush oil or butter lightly inside the mold.

Divide the dough into half. Return the other half into the covered bowl.

Roll the dough thin.

 Place the mold underneath the rolled out dough, add a tablespoon of the curried fish filling and press the mold sides together.

Remove extra dough trimmings. open mold, make sure the edges of the fish patties are pressed together firmly, set aside on a tray and cover with a kitchen towel to avoid the dough drying. 

Making the half moon shape by hand.

Roll out the dough into a thin sheet as explained above.

Place a small bowl over the dough sheet, cut around it to form a circle, you can also use a cookie cutter to do this.

Add a tablespoon of fish filling to it. fold one edge of the circle towards the other, covering the filling.

Use a fork, pressing it to seal the edges.

Keep repeating the process until you’ve finished the dough.

Deep frying the fish patties.

Place a deep-frying pan over low-medium heat, pour in the oil and gradually heat the oil, test the heat of the oil by, dropping a piece of dough, if it sizzles and fries then the oil is ready.

Maintaining the same oil temperature,  gently drop two-three fish patties into the oil and fry until they are light golden in color.

Transfer to paper towels to remove excess oil.

Serve warm with a hot sauce and a cup of Sri Lankan tea.

Made this recipe?

Please don’t forget to rate the recipe on the recipe card so other readers find it helpful and show me your recipe by tagging me #islandsmile178 on Instagram.

Yield: 12

Deep fried-curried fish patties(Sri Lankan).

DEEP FRIED-CURRIED FISH PATTIES.

A step-by-step guide on how to make these savory deep-fried fish patties(empanadas)at home.

The savory half moon, deep-fried, handheld mini pies are the perfect appetizer for any time.

With a curried fish filling and crispy deep-fried dough, it’s no wonder these deep fried fish patties are popular among the young and old.

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • Ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.
  • To make the spicy curry tuna filling
  • 2-3 tablespoons of oil
  • 3-4 curry leaves chopped fine
  • 1 large onion chopped fine
  • 2 green chillies chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of raw curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of chillie powder
  • 1 can of jack mackerel(substitute with two cans of tuna steak)
  • 2 medium-sized potato boiled thoroughly and skin removed.
  • Salt to season
  • To make the dough
  • 2 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1 cup 1/2 cup of water(use water as needed to get the correct consistency)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Watch the short video guide above to help you make the fish patties.

How to make the dry curry fish filling.

  1. As mentioned on the beginner’s tips, you’ll want to avoid making a slightly oily fish filling.
  2. Have all the ingredients chopped and ready. drain preservative juice from the tuna/jack mackerel can.
  3. Boil the potatoes, peel and have them ready. the Potatoes need to be boiled until they are easy to smash, 20-30 minutes over medium-high heat.

Making the filling.

  1. Place a pan over low-medium heat and pour 3 tablespoons of oil.
  2. Once the oil heats, add the chopped curry leaves, ginger-garlic paste and cook the ingredients until they release their aroma.
  3. Add the onions, green chillies, raw curry powder(1/2 tsp), turmeric(1/2 tsp),black pepper(1 tsp), red chilli powder(1 tsp), make sure to add the ingredients in the given order over low heat, constantly stir to avoid burning the spices and combine for 2 minutes.
  4. Once the spices are done, add the flaked tuna/jack mackerel to the pan and combine, season with salt, mix until combined well.
  5. Once you’ve mixed the flaky fish with the spices and cooked until well combined, remove the pan from the stove and then add the boiled potatoes.
  6. Break down the potatoes into smaller pieces, mix well with the rest of the ingredients, taste and season with salt if necessary.
  7. The reason we add the potatoes well after cooking the fish filling is that the potatoes will easily mix into the fish filling while absorbing all the flavors.
  8. And the most important reason is they will absorb any extra oil and maintain the slightly dry texture of the filling.

HOW TO MAKE THE FISH PATTIES/EMPANADA DOUGH.

  1. Use a large bowl or a flat surface to make the dough.
  2. Add the flour, salt, butter, egg and gently combine all the ingredients.
  3. Mix or work the dough with your fingers, combine the flour mixture by gathering them from the edge and working them inwards.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of water(read beginner’s notes)while you continue mixing the flour mixture, you’ll notice the flour mixture turning crumbly, continue working the dough.
  5. Keep kneading(adding teaspoons of water should you find the dough dry)until you have a smooth dough.
  6. Place dough in a bowl and cover to avoid the dough drying.

HOW TO SHAPE THE FISH PATTIES.

You can shape the fish patties into half moons using a mold or by hand.

Using a mold.

  1. Brush oil or butter lightly inside the mold.
  2. Divide the dough into half. Return the other half into the covered bowl.
  3. Roll the dough thin.
  4. Place the mold underneath the rolled out dough, add a tablespoon of the curried fish filling and press the mold sides together.
  5. Remove extra dough trimmings. open mold, make sure the edges of the fish patties are pressed together firmly, set aside on a tray and cover with a kitchen towel to avoid the dough drying.

Making the half moon shape by hand.

  1. Roll out the dough into a thin sheet as explained above.
  2. Place a small bowl over the dough sheet, cut around it to form a circle, you can also use a cookie cutter to do this.
  3. Add a tablespoon of fish filling to it. fold one edge of the circle towards the other, covering the filling.
  4. Use a fork, pressing it to seal the edges.
  5. Keep repeating the process until you’ve finished the dough.

Deep frying the fish patties.

  1. Place a deep-frying pan over low-medium heat, pour in the oil and gradually heat the oil, test the heat of the oil by, dropping a piece of dough, if it sizzles and fries then the oil is ready.
  2. Maintaining the same oil temperature, gently drop two-three fish patties into the oil and fry until they are light golden in color.
  3. Transfer to paper towels to remove excess oil.
  4. Serve warm with a hot sauce and a cup of Sri Lankan tea.

Each recipe on this blog has been written with great care and love to the best of my ability with you in mind.
It’s free and on the blog, for you to try anytime.

All I ask is that you do not save it on any apps, recipe boxes or online groups which will affect me as a food blogger and the growth of this blog. I would appreciate if you only share the link rather than the full recipe. 

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Sri Lankan meal menu plan 7. For those of you who like to try a different kind of Sri Lankan menu.  Rice, green gram(mung)-coconut mallung, a spicy beef curry, ash plantain white curry and a sweet and spicy mango curry completes my menu number 7.
Sri lankan meal plan 7 with recipes.
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