If you are looking for a duck dish in India, you might be surprised to find out that Bombay duck is not a duck at all. It is actually a type of lizardfish that is found in the Indo-Pacific region. It has a strong odor and an ugly appearance, but it is considered a delicacy by some people who enjoy its rich buttery taste.
Bombay duck is a popular food item in India, especially in Maharashtra, where it is fried or cooked in curry. It is also consumed as a dried fish in Sri Lanka. The name Bombay duck comes from the colonial era, when the fish was transported by train from Bombay (now Mumbai) to other parts of India. The train compartments were called dak bungalows, which sounded like duck to the British ears.
The fish is also known as bummalo, boomla or bombil in different languages. It belongs to the family Synodontidae, which includes about 200 species of lizardfishes. They have elongated bodies, large mouths with sharp teeth, and eyes on the top of their heads. They are bottom dwellers that feed on smaller fish and crustaceans.
Bombay duck has a high water content and a soft texture, which makes it difficult to preserve. It is usually sun-dried or salted before consumption. The drying process enhances its flavor and reduces its odor. Some people prefer to eat it fresh, while others like it rehydrated and cooked with spices.
One of the most common ways to prepare Bombay duck is to coat it with turmeric, red chili powder, salt and rice flour, and then deep-fry it until crisp. It can be served as a snack or a side dish with rice and dal. Another popular recipe is to make a curry with coconut milk, onion, garlic, ginger, curry leaves and tamarind paste. The fish is simmered in the gravy until tender and tangy.
Bombay duck is not only tasty but also nutritious. It is rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and phosphorus. It can help lower cholesterol levels, improve brain function and prevent osteoporosis. However, it should be consumed in moderation as it can also contain mercury and other contaminants.
If you are feeling adventurous and want to try something different, Bombay duck might be the dish for you. It is a unique and flavorful fish that will challenge your taste buds and expand your culinary horizons.