Bombay Duck Recipes

Tarapori Patio or Dried Bombay Duck Patio

A curried dry Bombay Duck recipe from the Parsi community usually eaten with ‘Khichdee’ (rice and lentils cooked together)


12 dry Bombay Duck

½ pod garlic

9 to 12 dry red chillies

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 onion, finely sliced

1/2 cup vinegar

2 ½ tablespoons grated jaggery (coarse palm sugar)

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted ghee


Soak jaggery in ¼  cup vinegar. Remove head and tail from each Bombay Duck and any fin like protrusions near the tail.  Cut each Bombay Duck into 4 pieces. Grind to a paste the garlic, red chillies and cumin seeds with 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Heat oil or ghee in a pan and fry the onion till brown. Add masala paste and cook for 5 minutes. Add pieces of Bombay Duck and mix well. Add salt and ¼ cup vinegar and cook for 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and jaggery mixture and ½ cup water, cover and cook on slow fire for 10 minutes or till Bombay Duck are soft and cooked. Serves 4.

Fresh Bombay Duck & Potatoes

A popular dish among the CKP community


8-10 fresh Bombil (Bombay Duck), cleaned and cut into 2 inch pieces
6 medium size potatoes, preferably round
3 tablespoons garlic paste
1 tablespoon red chilli powder
½ tablespoon haldi (turmeric)
1 tablespoon salt
5-6 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves
4-5 chopped green chillies (to taste)
5 tablespoons fresh coconut grated
4-5 tablespoons oil


Thoroughly wash the slices of Bombay Duck in running water. Clean and scrub the potatoes (they will be used with the skin). Dry the fish and coat the slices with a mixture of garlic paste, chilli powder, haldi and salt. Cut the potatoes into thin slices. Coat with haldi, chilli powder, salt, coriander leaves, green chillies and grated coconut. Put together the potatoes and Bombay Duck, and let the mixture marinate for 1 hour. Heat oil in a thick bottomed vessel, or kadhai. Add the potatoes and fish and let it all cook on a low flame. Initially toss the mixture (instead of stirring), to ensure that the oil spreads through the entire mixture. (The pieces of this fish break very easily if stirred.) Cover and cook till the potatoes are done. Staunchly resist the temptation to open the lid and stir. While serving take care that the fish pieces do not break. Serve hot. Do not reheat.

Bombil Bhujne

My friend’s grandma’s secret recipe that she reluctantly parted with


8 pieces of Bombil
1 ½ onion, sliced long
A couple of green chillies, chopped into half inch pieces and slit
8-10 flakes of garlic, sliced
2-3 cocum (gamboges or red mango) bits
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of oil
Grated coconut and chopped coriander for garnish


Wash the fish thoroughly and salt with a couple of teaspoons of free flowing salt. Rub thoroughly and allow half an hour for the salt to permeate through the fish. Then douse with a teaspoon of red chilly powder and half a teaspoon of turmeric powder, and using your hand, rub thoroughly until the fish is well coated. Heat the oil and add the garlic slices and the chillies. In a couple of minutes add the onions and sauté till they turn translucent. Gently lay the Bombil pieces on the onion bed and carefully toss over. Use of a blunt wooden spoon or ladle is advisable. Allow to cook for five minutes under the lid. Add a cup of water and the cocum bits, bring to boil and simmer for a further five minutes, without stirring. Season with salt to taste, stir gently not harming the fish. Garnish with generous amount of coconut and chopped coriander. Serve with rice or chapattis (Indian bread).

Dry Bombay Duck Pickle

Steeped in years of Mangalorean history


20 dry Bombay Ducks
15 red Kashmiri chillies
1 teaspoon tamarind
10 pepper corns
6 cloves
2” cinnamon stick
6 cloves of garlic
1” piece ginger
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 big onion roasted on a gas stove
Sugar (according to your taste)
Oil to fry


Clean the Bombay duck and cut into 1” in size pieces. Grind all the ingredients in vinegar (don’t use water at all) and fry the ground masala in the oil till it separates from the oil. Cool the masala and then add the cut Bombay duck to it. Let the top masala be covered with the oil for preservation. It can be preserved for upto a year.

Fried Bombay Duck

The definitive classic style


2 to 3 Bombils
2 tablespoons rice flour
1 tablespoon rava (semolina)
3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon red chilly powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon oil

Salt to taste


Cut the Bombils in to 1½ in long pieces. Take fish pieces and apply turmeric powder, red chilly powder and salt, marinate it for 15 to 20 minutes. Take all flour, and roll the pieces into it and shallow fry them. Serve hot.

India Boating, February ’08


7 thoughts on “Bombay Duck Recipes

  1. Nice blog Sanjeev. And nice name too. Am hoping to read your stories bit by bit as I get the time.

    Liked your piece on Fresh Catch but it’s impossible to register on that darned site. Tried every permutation possible.

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