Potato Cakes With Tuna Filling (Batata Charp)

Total Time
Prep 40 mins
Cook 20 mins

These are crispy fried potato cakes with a tuna and light vegetable filling that is just delicious. DH liked them with the tuna added though it is not traditional. If you prefer you can leave the tuna out for the original vegetarian version. I serve them with a corn free ketchup and plain yogurt to dip them in, sour cream would be good too. The original recipe is from the Iraqi section of The Complete Middle East Cookbook by Tess Mallos.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Scrub potatoes and boil in their jackets until tender.
  2. Drain, peel and mash to a smooth puree.
  3. Leave to cool. Then blend in egg, rice flour or plain flour, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  4. Gently fry onion in oil until transparent, add turmeric and fry for a further minute. Remove from heat.
  5. Peel tomatoes, halve crosswise and remove seeds and juice.
  6. Chop finely and place in a bowl, add onion mixture, tuna, parsley, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  7. (During shaping moisten hands with water to prevent potato from sticking.).
  8. Take about a tbs of the potato mixture and flatten it in the palm of your hand.
  9. Put a tsp of the filling in the center and close potato around filling.
  10. Roll into a ball and then roll in flour and flatten to make thick cakes. Arrange on a tray.
  11. Add oil to frying pan to a depth of 1/4 inch (5mm). Heat well and fry potato cakes until golden brown on each side - about 3 minutes in all.
  12. Drain on paper towels and serve hot on a plate with your choice of condiments.
Most Helpful

I was missing Bourek with tuna this year since I'm Gfree. This hit the spot. I didn't have rice flour on hand so I just use a very light dusting of cornstarch to give them a crust. Next time I will try some preserved lemon in the tuna filling. I served these with Lemon Garlic Dressing -Mediterranean and Caramelized Onions. I guess I should add that the recipe says to puree but I just boiled the potatoes until fork soft not mushy and then let them cool and broke them down with a fork. They were easy for me to mold into patties in my and and I didn't need to use an egg in the mixture. Made for Ramadan Tag 2010.

Jamilahs_Kitchen August 20, 2010

Yes, these are a bit tricky to stuff but after making about 6-7 cakes I got the hang of up. Fresh tomatoes are awful this time of year and I chose instead to substitute sun dried tomatoes. I also broke the potatoes up with a fork instead of pureeing. We prefer olive-oil packed tuna over tuna packed in water and it was a much better choice for this recipe. The use of water for shaping is very helpful as was a light sprinkle of flour on both sides of the cakes for frying. Next time I might add double the amount of turmeric as it is a favorite spice. Local eggs, organic onions and russet potatoes from our CSA box. We ate them plain. Thanks for posting a good and cheap to prepare meal! Reviewed for NA*ME tag. Come play!

COOKGIRl March 26, 2011

*Made for Australian Forum Make My Recipe Tag Game* We enjoyed these for dinner tonight. Served with fresh steamed corn, sour light cream and either tomato sauce(ketchup) or Sweet Chilli Mango sauce. The prep time was substantially longer than stated as time is required for the potatoes to boil & cool. Also for me, I found these really time consuming in rolling the potato around the filling....though I guess with practice this would get much quicker. I loved the filling (though had quite a bit left). Also I think I made these bigger than stated and got 30 potato cakes. Photos also being posted. Nice to use a recipe that is already tried and tested to be gluten-free :)

**Jubes** February 12, 2010