Masala Shrimp Cakes

My mother knows my tastes in cookbooks well. Recently, for my birthday, she sent me Recipes from an Indian Kitchen, by Sunil Vijayakar, with “authentic recipes from across India.”

Oddly enough, for a French woman, my mother cooked Indian meals when I was growing up, so I was exposed to Indian cuisine at a young age. She cooked a variety of International cuisines, but Indian was probably my favorite. And that was when my palate was a bit challenged!

What’s not to love, though? Unless you dislike cilantro. But the spices are so fragrant and lovely, and for the most part the dishes are healthy and vibrant.

The author describes the generalized regional cuisines of the north, south, east and west. I know it’s much more involved than four regions, but the differences are fascinating. And the photos in the book are gorgeous. They made me want to grab my camera and get on a plane. One day…

So as I always do with a new cookbook, I read it front to back, bookmarking recipes along the way. One recipe, Masala shrimp cakes, really stood out to me for some reason.

I mean I love shrimp, but the cakes looked like a perfect party food, and one that can be made ahead of time. They are chock-full of colors and flavors.

Loretta will be happy to know that this recipe is Goan-inspired!

Once you have clean shrimp, all you need is a food processor, and the shrimp “batter” is ready in minutes. Just a little time chilling is required to meld flavors and firm the batter.

Masala Shrimp Cakes
Jhinga Masala Vadas

1 3/4 pounds raw shrimp, peeled, deveined
2 fresh red chiles, seeded, minced
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon coconut cream or coconut milk
4 scallions, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup fresh white bread crumbs
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 medium egg, lightly beaten

Coarsely chop the shrimp and put them into a food processor along with the remaining ingredients.

Blend to a coarse paste. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 6-8 hours, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Shape the shrimp mixture into 20 small patties, about 1 1/2″ in diameter. Place on a baking sheet and brush lightly with oil.

Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until slightly puffed up and light golden.

Serve warm or at room temperature with lime wedges for squeezing over the top.

I made a dip of sorts by blending cilantro, green chile peppers, and a little olive oil, just for fun!

These shrimp cakes were delicious even once they cooled down, but I did love them warm.

My only addition to this recipe would be at least 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Otherwise, it was total Indian perfection!

By Published On: May 19th, 201746 Comments on Masala Shrimp Cakes

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Travel Gourmet May 19, 2017 at 7:17 AM - Reply

    These look and sound wonderful. And I like that they’re baked rather than fried.

    • chef mimi May 19, 2017 at 7:47 AM - Reply

      I agree. I wouldn’t have made them otherwise!

  2. Nadia May 19, 2017 at 9:00 AM - Reply

    This is exactly up my alley!

  3. Cook with Smile.. May 19, 2017 at 9:25 AM - Reply

    Looks spectacular 😊..

  4. swedet00th May 19, 2017 at 10:51 AM - Reply

    Amazing dish, great job Mimi.

  5. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso May 19, 2017 at 2:43 PM - Reply

    These look so good. I love the fact they are baked rather than fried. I’m definitely inspired! :)

    • chef mimi May 19, 2017 at 3:22 PM - Reply

      Definitely. I wouldn’t have made them otherwise.

  6. Francesca May 19, 2017 at 4:57 PM - Reply

    Nice little vadas.

  7. anotherfoodieblogger May 19, 2017 at 5:28 PM - Reply

    Indian food has a lot of spices that pleases my palate! These look tasty and perfect finger food.

    • chef mimi May 20, 2017 at 6:21 AM - Reply

      Yes! And we love Mexican, which shares many of the same seasonings, as you know. I feel sorry for people who hate cilantro!!!

  8. Linda Duffin May 19, 2017 at 5:29 PM - Reply

    Gorgeous, Mimi.

  9. Cocoa & Lavender May 20, 2017 at 3:09 AM - Reply

    India is one of the places I drew of visiting, too, Mimi. It really calls to me! As do these shrimp cakes… they are happening at our table as soon as I a back from a two-week business trip!

    • Cocoa & Lavender May 20, 2017 at 3:10 AM - Reply

      Ummm… “dream” not “drew.” Sheesh!

    • chef mimi May 20, 2017 at 6:17 AM - Reply

      Yes, I’d love to take a National Geographic photography tour in India.

  10. Jeff the Chef May 20, 2017 at 8:05 AM - Reply

    I must say, they are beautiful. And I’ll bet they’re delicious.

    • chef mimi May 21, 2017 at 10:27 PM - Reply

      Really great flavors – I’m sure you’d like them!

  11. Abbe@This is How I Cook May 20, 2017 at 10:52 PM - Reply

    I do like this recipe! Perfect for parties…and me! Your mother has great taste!

    • chef mimi May 21, 2017 at 6:27 AM - Reply

      She’s really good about grabbing cookbooks for me! Thank you!

  12. Sumith May 21, 2017 at 7:48 AM - Reply

    This is absolutely gorgeous. Lotteta would love to see this Goan inspired recipe. I am a great fan of Goan dishes. Beautiful share.

    • chef mimi May 21, 2017 at 7:56 AM - Reply

      They are wonderful, aren’t they?!!

      • Sumith May 21, 2017 at 8:01 AM


  13. chukkiskitchen May 21, 2017 at 8:37 AM - Reply

    Wow so tempting

  14. Gerlinde @ Sunnycovechef May 21, 2017 at 9:28 PM - Reply

    I make salmon patties all the time but have never made shrimp cakes. It’s about time and this recipe looks wonderful. Thank you Mimi!

    • chef mimi May 21, 2017 at 9:59 PM - Reply

      It’s probably very similar, maybe not as strong of a flavor? But still moist and spicy!

  15. Ruby_&_Cake May 22, 2017 at 12:09 AM - Reply

    These look incredible and so full of beautiful flavours!

  16. skd May 29, 2017 at 2:43 AM - Reply

    They look amazing Mimi. This is making me hungry.

    • chef mimi May 29, 2017 at 10:10 AM - Reply

      I’ve already made these a second time!

  17. Sofia May 30, 2017 at 1:09 PM - Reply

    These look like a total delight, and something I will definitely try!

    • chef mimi May 30, 2017 at 1:37 PM - Reply

      I’ve already made a second double batch of these!

  18. ruthann1 June 1, 2017 at 2:33 PM - Reply

    These shrimp cakes sound and look absolutely wonderful. I’m planning to buy the ingredients when I go to the grocery store tomorrow so we can enjoy them this week. By the way, my husband loves cilantro.Thank you for the inspiration.
    RuthAnn at

    • chef mimi June 6, 2017 at 9:32 AM - Reply

      I feel so sorry for people who don’t love cilantro. But i really dislike celeriac, so there are probably some people who feel sorry for me!!! BTW, I’ve already made a second, double batch of these. They’re really good.

  19. StefanGourmet June 4, 2017 at 7:48 AM - Reply

    Love these!

  20. A Cookbook Collection June 6, 2017 at 8:23 AM - Reply

    These look delicious Mimi! I love that they are baked rather than fried.

    • chef mimi June 6, 2017 at 9:33 AM - Reply

      They are also nice and moist, which I like. But I think too many recipes that are similar use too much bread crumbs.

      • A Cookbook Collection June 6, 2017 at 11:13 AM

        Yes I don’t like when recipes have too much binding agent like breadcrumbs or flour when you want the star ingredient to shine.

  21. mamabatesmotel September 25, 2017 at 8:01 PM - Reply

    Reblogged this on mamabatesmotel.

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