Boomla -Bombay Duck or Lizard fish, is a big Parsi food speciality. Most colonial clubs in Mumbai serve this on their menu! It is a Sunday brunch special ritual in many Parsi homes and quite the delicacy to ask of for Parsis returning home on holiday.
My family in fish trawling business shared tales of how this fish was thrown back into the Arabian sea as there was no demand for it with anyone except the community! It was not an exportable product nor of much value as a commodity. And yet we all embrace it within the tribe as a favourite.
It has to be fresh, it has to be fried and most importantly it has to be crisp!!
|Freshly fried Boomla or Bombay Duck fish.|
I kg Bombay ducks/ boola/ lizard fish
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup semolina
1 cup wheat flour
oil for frying
Wash and drain the fish. Rub it with a teaspoon of salt
Sprinkle it with red chillie and turmeric powders. Leave it for an hour to marinade.
When ready to eat, heat oil in a frying - this is shallow frying so just keep enough oil to cover the base of the fry pan.
In a shallow bowl or thaal mix the semolina and wheat flour, sprinkled with salt.
Take each fish and dredge it in the mixture of semolina wheat flour and salt. Shake off the excess and pan fry. Turning it only once. Fry on a medium high flame for 2 minutes on each side.
Serve this with wedges of lemon, fresh corriander and raw finely sliced onion.
Warm crusty bread is its best accompaniment.
Refrigerate the fish if it is more than an hour to frying it, yet bring it to room temperature before you start.
The oil has to be hot before you start frying it. Otherwise the fish will absorb all the oil and it will be soggy.
The flame should be the size of the bottom of the pan and not any larger.
To read about an ancient cuisine you can purchase my cookbooks called The World of Parsi Cooking; Food Across Borders and The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.
Photo Courtesy Kainaaz Patell