Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Crispy Bombil Fry ~ Bombay Duck Fish Fry

Bombil or Bombay duck fish founds only at the Konkan belt. Bombil has lots of water content if we squeeze out this water, bombil becomes crispy. I am giving a trick to make bombil more crispy and tasty. Yes! I use rava but this is not trick. This is a traditional trick used by everyone from our area of Konkan.


  • Bombay ducks or bombil- 8 to 10
  • Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
  • Asafetida (hing)- ¼ tsp
  • Homemade masala or Malwani masala or Sunday masala or agari-koli masala- 3 to 4 tsp
  • Garlic cloves- 8 to 10
  • Kokam petals- 6
  • Rice flour- 2 tsp
  • Fine semolina/barik rava- approx ½ cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for shallow fry- as required

Grind garlic and kokam together with minimum water into smooth paste. (options: plz read notes)
Cut the bombils as shown in pictures. 
Cut the head, tail and fins of both sides as well as stomach part.
Cut into two parts.

Slit and open the fish flat like a fillet.

Wash all pieces with water and apply some salt and turmeric powder on them. Put all cut pieces in a thin cotton or muslin cloth and make pouch/potali. Band it tightly.

Place the plate in slightly slant. I keep the one side of plate on the border plate of kitchen platform. You may use a plate. Keep board or another plate on it. Keep something heavy on it. Thus maximum water from bombil come out. My mom keep "Pata-varavanta/silbatta" on this potali.

After 20 to 30 minutes to drain almost water out. Marinate the fish pieces with masala, hing, kokum-garlic paste and some salt.
Combine rice flour and rava in a dish. Add little salt and masala in it and mix it.
Heat some oil in a tava.
Coat each piece of bombil in rava mixture and shallow fry till crisp.

Serve hot with bhakari or with fish curry and rice.


  • Do not use ginger for this style of fish-fry.
  • I make usually garlic-kokum paste in a huge quantity and store in freezer. Because two reasons......first is, it is difficult to grind smooth paste in small quantity in the grinder. My mom uses "Pata-varavanta/silbatta" to make smooth paste. Second is, it saves time. (Grind together ½ cup garlic and ½ cup kokam with minimum water.) 2-3 tsp paste is required for med sized fish.rava or
  • Malwani masala is easily available in the market. You can use also aagari-koli masala. All masalas from Konkan region are quite similar in taste. But store-bought masala can not give proper taste. 
  • If you don't have enough time for all procedure, you could just use a paper towel to absorb all the moisture from the fish.