Spicy Fish Bake

I never knew I would turn into a fish lover. I don’t remember cooking fish before marriage. Maybe a few times, but that’s all. Fish was my sister’s forte at our parents’ home. After marriage, fish was handled mostly by the husband, while I happily stirred the chicken curry. But you know how people say that the habits of one partner are bound to rub off on the other. Thus, the husband’s liking for fish has eventually passed on to me. The way I passed on the birding bug to him. So, we are even. 

Now, although I have begun to appreciate the light fish curries, more prevalent in our Assamese household, I do get a bit bored. Some experimentation was required. And boy, did I do that! I tried out so many fish recipes from the internet that I don’t even remember half of them. Some of them turned out to be humongous flops and had to be painfully stomached by the family who had no other choice. But this one, spicy fish bake, is a winner all the way. I got it from Sunita Bhuyan’s blog (www.sunitabhuyan.com). She is a super cook and a baking queen. I am scared to tweak her recipes but in many cases I had to due to lack of a particular ingredient. 

Take the case of this recipe. Sunita used salmon fillets, while I had only rohu fish in the freezer. The recipe was too good to be postponed till the day I got salmon fillets and so I decided to go ahead and make it anyway. I found that I did not have parsley, or even its Indian counterpart, coriander leaves. Hence, I decided to add some kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves). Then again, why use olive oil when you have butter? Always a better option, no? I also used some other short cuts and hope those ‘tweakings’ don’t give Sunita a heart-attack!

So, here goes my version of Sunita Bhuyan’s Spicy Fish (Salmon, in her recipe) Bake:

Spicy Fish Bake


4 fish steaks

½ teaspoon roasted and ground cumin (I just lightly roasted cumin powder on a pan and used that)

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon chilli powder

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4-5 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon kasuri methi
1 tablespoon tomato puree

2 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper to taste


Now, this is what I did. I marinated the fish steaks in lemon juice, salt and pepper for around 15 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients together. Coat the fish pieces well with the marinade and let it rest for half an hour. 

Meanwhile, line a baking dish with silver foil paper. The foil paper must be enough to make a parcel. Arrange the fish pieces on the foil paper and tip in the marinade on top of the pieces. You can add one more dollop of butter if you wish. Cover with the foil paper so that it resembles a parcel. 

Put the fish parcel in the centre of the pre-heated oven (200 degrees) and bake for around 20-25 minutes or till the fish is cooked thoroughly. And you are done!

Sunita had warned us about getting hit by amazing flavours on unwrapping the parcel and she was right. The moment we tore open the silver foil, a delicious aroma wafted out and filled the room. The family, who were tentatively sitting at the dining table while I brought in the dish, collectively let out a sigh of relief. It was a grand success that evening and I totally forgot to click pictures.

I was so happy with the recipe that I tried cooking it with some vegetables (diced carrots, green beans, potatoes, chillies and onions) the next time around. I was not sure how my 'creativity' would be taken but fortunately, it was well received! This time I was careful to keep some photographic evidence.

Fish steaks marinated in salt, pepper and lemon juice

Mix the vegetables with the marinade

Add the fish pieces and butter. Mix well.

Cover with silver foil paper

Unwrap the foil when the fish and vegetables are cooked. The veggies may take 10 minutes longer to cook.

Serve hot!

Thanks so much, Sunita, for this great fish recipe! This one is definitely for keeps.


  1. Hi Sangeeta! Tanks a lot for the entry, the round u will be posted in a couple of days.
    Please do let me know your location ( India/ USA)


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