Spicy Canned Mackerel- Sri Lankan Style සැමන් තෙල් දාලා


When we think about canned fish, we usually think of Sri Lankan cutlets first even though we can make cutlets with boiled fish. By the way, cutlets are deep fried fish balls that are covered in thin breadcrumbs. The recipe I am sharing today isn’t cutlet. It’s actually another delicious and a spicy dish that is made out of canned fish, canned mackerel to be precise and it is quite famous to eat with toasted bread. In Sri Lanka, we can buy this particular bread called roasted bread or රෝස් පාන් in Sinhalese and that is the best bread you can try this dish with, in my opinion. If you can’t find roasted bread, any toasted bread would go equally fine with this dish.

Here is the recipe.


  • 1 can of mackerel or 450g of canned mackerel ( You can make with any Sri Lankan canned fish or any canned fish without any sauce.
  • ½ medium size onion-cut into pieces
  • Curry leaves
  • 3 small pieces of pandan leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic- cut in to pieces
  • 1 tsp of red chili flakes
  • ½ tsp of black pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ of a lime
  • Cooking oil



Take out the canned fish from the can and mash it with a fork. Pour some cooking oil to a pan and let it heat for a while. Then, add curry leaves and the pandan leaves. Stir fry. Now, add garlic and stir fry a bit. Then, add onions and stir fry until they are light golden brown like in the pictures. Without delay, add the mashed mackerel with red chilli flakes, pepper powder and salt. Mix well. Cook it for few minutes and stir occasionally. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the cooker. Squeeze some lime juice in to the mackerel and mix well. That’s it.

Enjoy !



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