Boomla: The Parsi Bombil

My thali had two bombils (Bombay ducks), crisp fried. Not as crisp as Gajali’s, perhaps, which are like biscuits, but still crisp. What they do is slit the fish and remove the single bone, unlike in Parsi cooking, where the bombil is pan fried with the bone. Once the bone is removed, the water is drained from the fish by placing a heavy weight on to. At Soul Fry, they treat the bombil with a simple masala of red chilli, haldi and jeera powder, mixed in Goa palm vinegar, and they pat the fish with fine rice powder before shallow frying it. The skin is crisp, the inside soft. The Parsi bombil is soft all over, and fluffy, done in egg batter. Also you may suck the bone, crunch it in the mouth, extracting its fishy juices, though there is an old wive’s tale that it gives you elephantitis. Don’t believe it.

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  • Ravi Kapoor

    Presumably, you meant to write “elephantiasis” which is a disease instead of “elephantitis”.