Maldivian tuna cutlets are spicy tuna and potato balls that are first dipped in eggs and rolled in dried breadcrumbs before being finally deep fried.
½ scotch bonnet pepper (or to taste)
10 curry leaves
½ tsp. grated ginger
2/3 tsp. salt (or to taste)
2/3 tsp. ground black pepper (or to taste)
1 tuna can
1 cup potatoes (boiled & mashed)
1 cup dried breadcrumbs (faaroshi kundi)
2 cups oil (for frying)
Slice the onion and scotch bonnet pepper (githeyo mirus) thinly.
Mince the curry leaves.
Add the sliced onion, scotch bonnet and ginger to a bowl. Squeeze in the lime and add salt and pepper. Using your fingers squash and squeeze the ingredients together until the onions become soft and release their juices.
Add the tuna, mix again using your fingers.
And then add the potatoes and mix again. Do a taste test and make any final adjustments you want.
Make small balls from the mixture by rolling portions of it between your palms, and set them aside. We were able to make 35. We used a teaspoon to measure the portions so that they come out even.
Beat the eggs in another bowl and set it aside.
Add the bread crumbs to a shallow bowl or even a plate and set that aside too.
Gently place around 5 of the tuna potato balls in the bowl with the eggs. Gently roll them in the eggs to get them coated evenly. You can use a spoon to do this.
Take them out of the eggs and then place them in the bread crumbs. Gently roll them around in the breadcrumbs to get them evenly coated. Do make sure to give them a good coat. Transfer them to a plate and set aside until it’s time to fry them.
Repeat steps 9 & 10 until you run out of the tuna potato mixture.
Heat the oil in a pot. We used 2 cups of oil. But the important thing to remember here is that the cutlets need to be at least halfway submerged in the oil when frying. So you might need to use more oil depending on the size of the pot you are using.
Test the temperature of the oil by pinching off just a little teeny bit from a cutlet and dropping it into the oil. When it floats and you can see bubbles forming around it at a medium speed, that’s your cue to put the cutlets in the oil.
Rather than frying all of them at the same time, fry the cutlets in batches. We did ours in 5 batches. So, place the first batch of cutlets in the oil and then fry until they take on a deep golden brown colour. You’ll have to turn the cutlets around so that they get fried evenly, however, remember to do this really gently.
Once fried, gently remove them from the oil and place them in a steel strainer or over some tissue papers to get rid of the excess oil.
Continue frying the cutlets in batches until it’s all done. Keep the temperature of the oil at medium heat throughout.