Baked salmon in mustard seeds, poppy seeds and coconut sauce with baked sweet potatoes

Saraswati puja (ie the goddess for knowledge, wisdom and talent)  was just a couple of days back…the childhood memories of tiny me and my friends wearing yellow saree and red blouse, going to our parents’ friends’ house where they would perform an elaborate pooja and us giving our books to the goddess so that she could give her precious blessing to each one of us customized to our needs and make sure that we pass that year’s final exam with flying colors, the memories of pushpanjali ( that is hindus take flowers and auspicious Bael leaves and after chanting the mantras offer the flowers and leaves to the goddess of course with our prayers)  and the bhog prasad comprising of Khichuri and labra and eating of that season’s first narkel kul  which is the tastier kin of ber (a kind of Indian berry)…ah  those wonderful memories soaked me with such nostalgia….that  literally pushed me to cook this beautiful exotic bengali (bong) dish. The fish used in the original dish is essentially the ” Hilsa” or Illish mach which for every bong is the king of all fishes…

The following site will help you to understand what I mean and its connection to saraswati puja (for all those wonderful people who I sincerely hope are reading this)

Well now that I live in a place where I can neither find Hilsa nor the large pumpkin or banana leaves in which the marinated hilsa is packed and cooked in the original dish called “Illish paturi”,  this again is the bongcomb version of the famous most delicious bong recipe….



  • 350 g of salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons of ground yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of ground poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of dried coconut powder (fresh coconut is originally used)
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard oil
  • 3 slit green chillies
  • one large sweet potato
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil


  1. Wash the fillet and cut it into three equal size. Rub the fish pieces thoroughly with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder and enough salt.
  2. Make a paste with mustard powder, poppy seed powder and coconut powder with turmeric and just enough water to make a thick paste. Add salt to taste to the paste.
  3. On a piece of large aluminium foil place the fillets and smear them generously with the paste.
  4. Pour mustard oil over them and place the slit green chilies right on top.
  5. Fold the foil in such a way that the entire mixture is neatly  wrapped.


6. This is a good time to get the oven to preheat. I have a gas oven and preheated at number 4 both on lower and upper flames.

7. Dice the large sweet potato into cubes and place them in a non stick baking pan.

8.Rub in 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, cayenne pepper and salt to taste.

9. Sprinkle with thinly sliced onion.

10. Add olive oil and mix all the ingredients well.

11. Place the baking pan into the oven and cook for 10 minutes at number 4,  before you place the fish.

12. Place the fish wrapped in aluminium foil in the center of the pan and cook for 20-25 min in medium flame (number 3).

P.S. This tastes best with hot steamed plain rice, but since we are off rice and gluten I tried the sweet potato which tasted great too!!!

P.P.S. This simple recipe is great with prawns or shrimps too!! Hope to post the same dish with prawns in one of these days 🙂


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December 2018
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