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  • Bombil Fry – Spicy, crisp and extremely tasty are these fried Bombay ducks or bombils.

Bombil Fry – Spicy, crisp and extremely tasty are these fried Bombay ducks or bombils.

  • Spicy
  • 40 min
  • Serves 4
  • Easy



  • Fish fry is loved by every fish lover
  • Bombil is also known as Bombay duck
  • Bombil fry is super easy to make at home.

Mumbai’s cuisine is a fascinating mishmash that has piqued the curiosity of foodies since time immemorial. There are so many kinds of sea food delights in Mumbai that you are often left spoilt for choice. Not only in terms of preparation, there is an overwhelming variety even in the kind of sea animals that are used. When talking about Mumbai’s coastal fare, one cannot possibly miss the bombil or Bombay duck. The curiously-named creature is not actually a duck, but in fact a very fleshy fish.

This Bombil fish fry is ideal for days when you are craving something fried, crispy and decadent. Top it off with a dash of lemon juice for the extra zest. If you happen to be a fish lover, you would definitely enjoy this classic treat – Bombil has very soft bones too. Another reason why we love it so much is that it does not take a lot of time to prepare these – all you need to do is coat the fish in a mix of rice flour, red chilly powder, lemon juice and turmeric powder and fry it until it is crispy and golden brown.

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Let's learn how to clean Bombay Duck fish.

Take a fish on chopping board. Using a sharp knife chop off Tail, Head and Fins. Cut the head in a diagonal manner and pull out the offal. Take out the outer shells by scraping knife along the body.


Cut along its stomach and open the fish. Run the knife along this faint line running through it's stomach. Keep going deeper gradually so that we can open the fish completely. You can use the centre bone as a reference for cutting along. Flip to the other side. If it still does not look completely flat, you can go a little deeper. Do not cut too deep. We don't want to cut it into two different parts. Similarly, we will clean all Bombay Ducks.


Now, we will wash and clean the fish with water. After cleaning with water, pat dry with a kitchen napkin. Marinate with 1tsp Salt for 5-7 mins. It helps get rid of fish smell.


After marinating Bombay Duck for 5-7 minutes, again we will wash with water. now we will perform a very significant step. Bombay Duck has lot of moisture content which must be removed from the fish for its better handling. We will take a chopping board. You can take any large flat object and cover with a piece of cloth. Arrange marinated fish on this cloth. Now, cover fish with another piece of cloth. Place another chopping board/flat surface object. Place a heavy object/load on this board. Leave the fish for 30 mins.


After 30 min Remove the board and cloth. We got rid of excess moisture and the fish has become firm.


Marination for Bombay duck:

Take a large plate add grind chilies, ginger and garlic together. Grind into a thick and coarse paste with 1-2 tsp water. The coarse paste is ready. (I have used 1-tsp water while grinding.) Also add Turmeric powder, red chili powder , salt to taste and lemon juice to the fish and mix very well.
We will refrigerate for 15-20 mins before frying. Refrigerate (Do not keep in deep freezer). This will help in making fish firm and it becomes easy to handle while frying.


Now, we will make a dry batter for frying the fish. In a large bowl, put Semolina, Rice flour, mix & coat well the marinated fish in this. If you don't want rava(semolina) fry you can skip semolina(rava) completely and make a batter of wheat flour/rice flour. Remove fish from refrigerator and coat it with this batter. Apply the coating nicely. We have put a pan on heat. Let's start frying the fish now.


Heated 2-3 tbsp Cooking Oil in a Pan. As the Oil becomes hot Dust the marinated fish with the flour mixture and place in the pan. Shallow-fry in hot oil till golden and crisp from both sides. (it is important that you heat the Oil and tawa perfectly and then fry fish on low-medium heat.)


If Oil temperature is too low, fish will stick to the pan and while changing its side its skin may come off. Such fried fish does not look appetizing.
We have cooked the underside for 3 mins. Now, change sides. The underside is well cooked and looks crisp fried. Spread the Oil all around the tawa. Cook for 3 more mins from other side.


Remove from pan after 3 mins. Add some more Oil and fry remaining fish. Serve hot with lemon wedge, onion and capsicum juliennes.


Crispy Bombil Fry is ready. Make this for your weekend meal and share your feedback with us in comments section below.


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