Braised Tin Fish Recipe


Tin fish (canned pilchards in tomato sauce) was one of the most loved foods in our home – be it Amma’s braised tin fish, tin fish chutney, tin fish with peas and potatoes, her tin fish samoosas and not forgetting those tin fish sandwiches for school lunches. I received a box of home goodies from my sister last Christmas and have been saving the can of tin fish for a special occasion. I can’t think of a better time than now given the many requests for a tin fish samoosa recipe.

south african indin food

Amma’s tin fish samoosa filling is almost identical to her braised tin fish recipe (shared in this post). Her method of ‘braising’ simply meant cooking meat or vegetables with little or no water. The key ingredient being finely sliced onions fried in vegetable oil and chilli powder. To make tin fish samoosas simply add a cup of chopped coriander and shallots after cooking. This was Amma’s way of increasing the quantity of a single can of tin fish.

braised tin fish

Braised Tin Fish Recipe
Recipe by Georgia

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 large can tin fish  (pilchards in tomato sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium sized onion sliced fine
  • 1 level tablespoon chilli powder
  • 3 or 4 green chillies sliced thin
  • quarter teaspoon ginger and garlic
  • optional salt (I prefer not to add any salt – it may already contain salt from the canning process)
  • 1 cup  fresh coriander and shallots  chopped ( for samoosa filling)


      1. Heat a heavy pan on medium heat. Add oil.
       2. Fry the onions and green chilies until slightly soft.
       3. Add the chilli powder. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
       4. Clean tin fish ( remove unwanted parts) Add tin fish. Mix gently.
       5. Remove from heat. Serve warm or cold. With rice, roti, bread or as a samoosa filling.
    tin fish
    tin fish chutney


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