Fish of the Week – Bombay duck

March 14, 2013 at 11:56 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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The Bombay duck or bummalo (Harpadon nehereus, Bengali: bamaloh or loytta, Gujarati: bumla, Marathi: bombil: Bombeli, Sinhala)

Bombay duck on display for sale

Bombay duck on display for sale

is, despite its name, not a duck but a lizardfish. It is native to the waters between Mumbai (formerly Bombay) and Kutch in the Arabian Sea, and a small number are also found in the Bay of Bengal. Great numbers are also caught in the South China Sea. The fish is often dried and salted before it is consumed, as its meat does not have a distinctive taste of its own. After drying, the odour of the fish is extremely powerful, and it is usually transported in air-tight containers. Fresh fish are usually fried and served as a starter. In Mumbai, Konkan and the western coastal areas in India this dish is popularly known as Bombil Fry.

 

The origin of the term “Bombay duck” is uncertain. One popular etymology relates to railroads. The shoals of fish around the Eurasian continent were separated when the Indian plate moved into it, dividing the species along the coasts of Eastern and Western India. When the rail links started on the Indian sub-continent, people from eastern Bengal were made aware of the great availability of the locally prized fish on India’s western coasts and began importing them by the railways. Since the smell of the dried fish was overpowering, its transportation was later consigned to the mail train; the Bombay Mail (or Bombay Daak) thus reeked of the fish smell and “You smell like the Bombay Daak” was a common term in use in the days of the British Raj. In Bombay, the local English speakers then called it so, but it was eventually corrupted into “Bombay duck”. Nonetheless, the Oxford English Dictionary dates “Bombay duck” to at least 1850, two years before the first railroad in Bombay was constructed, making this explanation unlikely.
According to local Bangladeshi stories,[citation needed] the term Bombay duck was first coined by Robert Clive, after he tasted a piece during his conquest of Bengal. It is said that he associated the pungent smell with that of the newspapers and mail which would come in to the cantonments from Bombay. The term was later popularized among the British public by its appearance in Indian restaurants in the UK.
In his 1829 book of poems and “Indian reminiscences”, Sir Toby Rendrag (pseudonym) notes the “use of a fish nick-named ‘Bombay Duck'” and the phrase is used in texts as early as 1815.

 

In 1997, Bombay duck was banned by the European Commission (EC) of the European Union. The EC admitted that it had no “sanitary” evidence against the product and the UK Public Health Laboratory Service confirmed that there were no recorded cases of food poisoning, or bacterial contamination, associated with Bombay duck. It was banned because the EC only allows fish imports from India from approved freezing and canning factories, and bombay duck is not produced in factories. Before the ban, consumption in the United Kingdom was over 13 tonnes per year.
According to “The Save Bombay Duck campaign”, the Indian High Commission approached the European Commission about the ban. The EC adjusted the regulations so that the fish can still be dried in the open air but has to be packed in an “EC approved” packing station. A Birmingham wholesale merchant located a packing source in Mumbai, and the product became available again in the United Kingdom.
Bombay duck is available fresh in Canada in cities with large Indian populations, such as Toronto and Montreal and is generally known as bumla. Although mainly popular with Indians from Bengal, southern Gujarat, coastal Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka, it is increasingly consumed by the other South Asian populations, Bangaladeshis in particular.

 

 

 

 

Fried Bombay Ducks Recipe

 
Ingredients:
Bombay Ducks – 8, large, cleaned (800 gms)
Ginger Garlic Paste – 1/2 tblsp
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
Chilli Powder – 1/2 tblsp
Lime Juice – 1/2 tblsp
Egg – 1
Refined Flour – 4 tblsp
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

 

 

Method:
1. Remove excess water by placing a heavy weight on the bombay ducks for 20 minutes.
2. Marinate them in a mixture of salt, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, chilli powder and lime juice for 15
minutes.
3. Beat the egg and mix the flour into it to make a smooth batter.
4. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
5. Dip each bombay duck in the batter and deep fry till golden brown and crisp.
6. Serve hot.
Printed from AwesomeCuisine.com

http://www.awesomecuisine.com/recipes/4633/fried-bombay-ducks.html

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