Gather your ingredients and shred the fish are you using into small flakes.
If using potato to bind your fish patties, place medium potato cut into one-inch pieces in cold, salted water to cover over high heat. Bring to boil, then turn to medium-low and cook for about 15 minutes until tender but not mushy. Allow to cool for 5 minutes or until you can handle and roughly mash them.
While the potatoes cook, gather all the rest of the ingredients and mix together in a large bowl.
Mix the potatoes into the fish patty mixture.
Shape the patties into 6 to 12 equal balls depending on whether you are using them as appetizers or an main dish. Flatten them to approximately 1/2-inch thick. See Notes if you are having trouble with the fish patties holding together. This is an optional step but the patties will hold together better if they are chilled for 30 minutes in the refrigerator or overnight if you are making them ahead.
Bread the patties with your preferred wet medium and crumbs or flour. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the patties.
Saute until golden brown of each side. This will take about 4 minutes on each side.
Serve with raita, plain yogurt, mint chutney on a bed of greens, a slaw on in a bun. The patties will freeze well, wrapped tightly, for up to 2 months
After draining the salmon you will be left with a little over 13 ounces (368g) of fish. Instead of salmon, you can use tuna, mackerel, or one pound of cooked seafood. Raw shrimp are the traditional choice. If using shrimp, coarsely chop half of them very finely, then coarsely chop the rest.
Garam masala: if you can get make or buy the following spice mixes, here are my suggestions in order of preference:
Instead of chickpea flour, you can use 5 tablespoons almond or rice flour.
Instead of potatoes, you can use 2 slices of bread soaked and squeezed dry. Tear into small pieces before mixing well into the fish patties.
About binding: if your cakes are not hanging together, add another tablespoon of the flour you are using (chickpea, rice, or almond flour). Just be careful not to add too much or your fish cake will be unpleasantly doughy. A couple more tablespoons of potato is a good addition.
If you prefer not to use egg in this recipe, make a thin wheat flour or chickpea batter to coat. This will be approximately 1/4 cup flour and 5 tablespoons water. I sometimes skip both the battering and breading step and, while they tend to stick a bit more to the pan, but they make a perfect for a faster weeknight dinner.
If you want a gluten-free fish patty bread with gluten-free bread crumbs or skip breading altogether. This works well except they do tend to stick a bit more. Before moving the fish cakes let them cook until a dark golden brown and they will release from the pan better.