Cape Malay Fish Pops

When Chef Ryan wanted to add a new South African inspired fish dish to the Tanda Tula lunch menu it seemed obvious to get inspiration from the traditional, much loved pickled fish. And who better to ask to assist him on this project than Martin, our born and bred Capetonian sous chef!

Pickled fish originated from Cape Malay cooking; it was developed to preserve fresh fish during the times of the early Cape colony.

Our two clever chefs put their heads together and developed a dish that celebrates the deep warmth of Malay spices while having some fun with the concept of fish pops and bringing it all to life through an extraordinary array of bright and bold colours.

Fish Pops

  • 1 hake fillet
  • ¼ Barramundi fillet (or any local Line fish)
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 green chilli, de-seeded   
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Remove the skins from the fish. 
  2. Finely chop the fish, onion, and chilli and mix in a bowl.
  3. Finely grate the garlic and add it to the fish mixture.
  4. Season to taste and mix well.
  5. Form small balls (5 per portion) and place them on a tray.
  6. Crumb the balls using corn flour, eggs, and cornflake crumbs.
  7. Deep fry on order.

Curry Sauce

  • ½ white onion
  • 1clove garlic
  • 1½ teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/3 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 tin coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoon clarified butter


  1. Toast the cumin seeds and coriander seeds in a dry pan over medium heat.
  2. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and grind.
  3. In the same pan, sauté the onions over medium heat with the clarified butter until translucent.
  4. Add all the spices and fry until the aroma is released.
  5. Add the tomato paste and fry for a further 5 minutes to cool out the tomato paste.
  6. Add the coconut cream, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Once the mixture has reduced slightly, blend until smooth and strain through a fine mesh strainer.
  8. Transfer into a squeezy bottle, label and store in the fridge.

Turmeric Aioli

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 350 ml sunflower oil
  • 30 ml white vinegar
  • 1/3 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric


  1. Place the egg yolk, Dijon mustard, vinegar and turmeric into the food processor.
  2. Blend well.
  3. Whilst the eggs are blending, slowly add the sunflower oil to form a thick emulsion.
  4. Season to taste and transfer into a squeezy bottle.
  5. Label and Store in the fridge.

To serve, place dollops of curry sauce and turmeric aioli onto a plate.
Cut 3 wedges of fresh peaches and arrange them on the plate.
Place the deep fried fish pops around the fresh peach wedges and then garnish with pickled red onion and deep fried sweet potato crisps.