Boil the potatoes in a pot of water. Once cooked, remove the skins and break up the peeled potato into small pieces, being careful not to smash it up.
Fillet the mackerel, or get your fishmonger to do it for you. Use a metal spoon to scrape off the meat from the fish as well as from the centre bone. Discard the skin and bone.
Cut the onions into very small pieces.
Wash and remove the stems from the curry leaves. Then cut the curry leaves into very thin strips.
Place the cream crackers in a sealed plastic bag, then crush finely.
Remove the seeds from the cardamoms and grind the cardamoms into power.
Crack the eggs in a bowl and beat lightly.
COOKING (30 min)
In a wok, add in 1 TBsp of oil and fry the onion for 2-3 mins.
Add in the cardamom powder, ground black peppercorn, turmeric power and salt, then fry for 1-2 mins
Add in the fish meat and fry for about 5 mins.
Add in the potatoes and curry leaves to the fish and mix until well incorporated.
Turn off the heat and leave to cool.
Shape the potato mixture into a ball. Then flatten it a little using both palms to form a patty.
Dip the patty into the beaten egg and then into the bread crumbs. Repeat this for the rest of the potatoes until all the potato mixture is used up.
In a wok, add in 8 TBsp of oil over medium heat.
When the oil is nicely heated up, place the patties into the oil and fry till golden brown. You can fry a few patties at a time depending how big your wok is.
Place the fried patties on a plate lined with a kitchen towel to soak up the excess oil, then serve hot!
Buy Brastagi potatoes (Indonesian) or Holland potatoes from NTUC. Do not use Russet potatoes. Russet potatoes are less starchy and don't adhere as well together after they are mashed up, so the perkedel using Russet potatoes will tend to disintegrate during frying!
Do not overcook the fish.
Any extra patties can be frozen for later use, but make sure you pack them properly. Place the patties in a plastic container to fill up the first layer. Place a clean plastic sheet over the first layer before placing a second layer of patties over first. This way, you can easily take our what you need when you want to cook it.
The temperature of the oil must be just right. Too hot and the patty will burn easily, too cool and the patty will take a long time to cook and ends up absorbing too much oil. To get the temperature just right, test the temperature of the oil by placing just one patty in. If the patty turns brown immediately, it means that the oil is too hot, so you need to adjust the fire accordingly.
If the patty turns cold, you can place it in a small oven to toast it for a min or two before serving it again.
Egg-Free: Skip the eggs. Eggs are used mainly as the binding ingredient to keep the patties together, but even without the egg, the potato should be starchy enough to hold together. Just be more careful when deep-frying to ensure the perkedel does not break up.
Gluten-Free: Replace cream-crackers with gluten-free plain biscuits or crackers.
Fish-Free: Replace the fish meat with minced chicken or pork meat. Make sure you fry the meat until it is cooked before adding it to the potato mixture.