clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Meen Cutlets Recipe – baked NOT fried – Made in Air Fryer

Traditional South Indian Style Meen Cutlets / Fish Cutlets made in an air fryer. Traditionally these are deep fried but have made a healthier version by air frying these cutlets. Video Recipe.

  • Total Time: 45m
  • Yield: 18-20 cutlets 1x



For the Masala Paste

2 tablespoon fresh shredded coconut
1/2 inch piece ginger, roughly chopped
2 tablespoon gram dal – pottukadalai
1 pod garlic
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 pieces green chillies
1.5 teaspoon Poppy seeds
2 tablespoon water (for soaking poppy seeds)
1/2 cup water (divided)

Other Ingredients

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon curry leaves
1 cup, onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
3 tablespoon coriander leaves
2 medium sized potatoes, boiled, peeled and grated
250 grams Fish fillet – White Meat (Tilapia, Catfish, Halibut etc)

For the coating

10 pieces plain rusk – ground to a powder
2 tablespoon corn starch
1/4 cup water for making cornstarch slurry

Coconut oil for sprinkling on the patties


Prep 1

Grind everything listed under masala paste with quarter cup of water to a smooth paste. Soak the poppy seeds in water so it gets ground to a paste. Else it will just stay as is and can get grainy. Set aside. Adjust the green chillies according to your spice levels.

Prep 2

Boil, peel and grate the potatoes. Set aside. I boiled the potatoes in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes and allowed the pressure to settle naturally. You can grate or even mash the potatoes and use it to make meen cutlets.

Prep 3

Mince the fish to a coarse paste. Set aside. Make sure not to grind it to a fine paste. We need the fish in little bits. Any white fish fillet will work well for this recipe. Halibut, Cat Fish, Tilapia are all good for making these cutlets.

Cooking the Masala

Heat coconut oil in a pan and add in the curry leaves and finely chopped onions. I like the flavour and aroma of coconut oil in these cutlets. Peanut oil / Olive oil can also be used for making these meen cutlets. Saute till the onions are soft. Add in the salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and the cinnamon powder. Saute for a few minutes. Add in the masala paste. Wash the mixie with 1/4 cup of water and add it to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes till the masala mixture looks dry. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preparing the Patties

Take a bowl and combine the grated potatoes, the cooked masala mixture and the minced fish. Mix well to combine. Set aside.

Take a bowl. Mix the cornstarch with little water and mix well to form a slurry. Set aside.

Run some plain rusk in a mixie to form a powder. Transfer the powder to a wide bowl. Set aside.

Take a golf ball sized fish mixture and make a patty. Dip the patty in the corn starch slurry and then coat it in the rusk powder. Set aside. Shape again to form firm and tight patties.

Sprinkle some coconut oil on the patties.

Air Fry the patties in batches. Fry them for 15-20 minutes at 200°C / 400  °F. The patties are very fragile. Rest them in the air fryer for a few minutes before removing them. Gently remove each baked cutlet to a serving plate.

Serve with ketchup and mayo.


Deep Frying

If you are planning to deep fry these, here are some pointers.
Steam the fish and then shred it. Use the shredded fish for making patties.
I have used cornstarch slurry and rusk powder for coating. For deep frying, use beaten eggs / egg whites for dipping the patties and bread crumbs for coating as they yield better results.


After making the patties and coating them in rusk, they can be frozen for later use. Arrange the patties in a plate (do not crowd) and freeze them for 4-5 hours. Once the patties are frozen, transfer them to zip tote bags / box and freeze them for up to 2 months. Thaw: – Thaw the patties at room temperature for an hour. Line the frozen patties on a plate making sure not to line them one on top of other. Once thawed, sprinkle oil and bake. Serve hot.

  • Author: Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 30m

Keywords: meen cutlets