ARAB influence in Andalusia, present day Spain, left a distinct mark on the region’s food choices and habits, as seen in the exotic spices and ingredients like saffron, almonds, zucchini, dates, lemons, oranges, rice, cinnamon and sweet peppers.
The tradition of multiple-course meals featuring a series of dishes complementing each other rather than one main dish started in Andalusia and continues until today.
Maqbula al-Tirrikh (Andalusian fish cutlets) is one such dish from 13th century Andalusia.
225 grams of fish (Tirrikh is a Middle Eastern freshwater fish. You can use any fish of your choice.)
2 tablespoon olive oil (Original recipe mentions sesame oil.)
1½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
2 large eggs
½ cup finely crushed corn flakes or bread crumbs
Salt to taste
Take the fish and fry it in oil until cooked and set aside to cool off.
Once cooled remove its head, tail, spine, and the skin with great care.
Crumble and break up the fish, and add all the spices and salt.
Break one egg into it and mix well.
Make patties of the fish mixtures.
Now beat the other egg, adding some salt. Dip the patties into the egg, and then into the corn flakes and coat them well.
Note: The classic recipe doesn’t call for dipping it into the egg and breadcrumbs.
Fry the patties both sides, until golden brown. Serve hot with your favourite sauce!
Note: The fish mixture is soft and you can face trouble making the patties. If you find it difficult, refrigerate the mixture for 15-20 minutes and then try using it.