Growing up in a Maharashtrian non-vegetarian family, our Sunday’s used to generally consist of seafood. My mother especially loves eating seafood and I love accompanying her by consuming bombay duck- goldenish crispy but tender fish. Whenever I used to visit the fish market with my mother, the fisherwomen (also know as “kolin” in marathi) used to call us to check the varieties of fishes arranged on her basket with each variety being of a group of 10-12 or maybe even 6-7 nos. (called as “vaata”) depending upon the size and type of fish.
But what is this bombay duck and where did it come from?
Bombay duck is a fish which is native to waters in and around of Mumbai, India.
The story goes that when Lord Rama was building a bridge to Lanka, he sought the help of all the fish in the sea. All obliged, but for the stubborn little Bombil. In a fit of rage, Rama flung it aside, and it plopped into the seas near Mumbai. This also explained away the softness of its bones.
Why is a fish called a duck, anyway? Turns out the etymology of its name is also rooted in its journey. Apparently, during the British Raj, the English loved the fish so much that they started transporting it from Mumbai across India in cargo trains that were labelled as Bombay Dak, literally translating into Bombay Mail. Lost in translation, the dak became the duck and the name has stuck ever since. However, the Kolis (fishermen) still prefer to call it Bombil and it is with them that the process first begins.
Today we will be looking at one such common Maharashtrian preparation called “limbachi kadi” or “Bombil green curry”
Bombay Fresh Green
- 6-7 nos. bombay duck / bombil
- 3-4 nos, green chillies
- 2-3 sprig corriander
- ½ inch Ginger
- 5-6 pods Garlic
- ½ tsp Cumin seeds
- ½ tsp Black pepper
- 2-3 nos. bafali/baphalya
- as per taste salt
- 1 tbsp dalia dal
- 250 ml water
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 3-4 nos. lemon
- ½ tsp oil
- In a mixer grinder, add chillies, corrainde, ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, black pepper, turmeric, baphalya, and dalia dal.
- Grind this into a very fine paste.
- Pour the mixture in a conatiner, add 1 glass of water (as required), sugar, salt and incorporate 3-4 lemon juice. Add ½ tsp oil and stir well.
- Keeping on stirring and place the container on the flame. Let it boil for sometime until all the flavours are infused into the curry.
- Lower the flame and then add bombil or bombay duck and give it one final boil and then switch off the gas.
- Cover the curry with a lid and let the aroma and flavour's infuse into the bombay duck.
- Your Bombay fresh green is ready. You can serve this with rice or any indian bread.
The most common preparation of Bombay duck is by drying it under the scorching sun and then applying salt and lemon and using it as a pickle. This preparation is most common within the natives of Mumbai, the kolain’s (or the fishermen).
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bombay duck recipe
bombay duck pickle
bombay duck curry recipe
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