• 4 to 5 Bombay duck fish/ fresh bombil 2 green chillies 5-6 garlic cloves ½ inch ginger ¼ cup coriander leaves chopped finely 1 cup grated coconut ½ teaspoon coriander seeds (dhaniya) ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera) 1 small onion 3 kokums 7-8 curry leaves / kadi patta Salt to taste

Bombay duck  fresh fish has a jelly like consistency and is also available as dry fish. The scientific name is Harpadon neherius and is called loytta in Bengali, bummili in Kerala and Bombil in Marathi. Despite its name it is not a duck but is a lizardfish. The chinese call it by a name that means hardfish.

This recipe is made using the fresh fish and you could either get it cleaned and cut by the seller or look in Indian stores where you may get cut, dressed, frozen packs.

Chop the head off and slit vertically to open it like a book and clean the guts. In this flattened form it can be easily fried to a crisp crunchy feel while retaining the soft inner feel (when fried). In this case since it’s a curry it will absorb the masala well all over.


Fresh Bombay duck fish - slit fish


  1. Wash and clean the Bombay duck fish/ fresh Bombil. Remove the head, fins & tail.
  2. Cut into 2 inch pieces.
  3. Grind in a mixer onion, coriander leaves, green chillies, coconut grated, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, coriander seeds to a fine paste.
  4. Heat 1 ½ table spoon oil, add the curry leaves and then the green masala paste and fry for 5 minutes.
  5. Add ½ cup water and once the gravy starts boiling, add salt and the Bombay duck pieces.
  6. Finally add kokum and cook for 5 minutes. Kokum gives it the sour tangy flavour and is rich in vitamin C.
  7. This fish is a jelly like consistency and cooks very fast. So it should be handled delicately and do not stir while cooking.
  8. Bombil Bhuzne or Bombay Duck fish green curry makes a great combination with plain steamed rice.


Bombil Bhuzne