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“When is duck not duck?” In Bombay

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So… when is duck not duck?

It could be a fish if you live in Mumbai!

I first had ‘Bombay Duck‘ in New York when visiting a Parsi friend from Mumbai. It was masala dried – stinky, chewy, very different but also quite good.

Then I moved to Bombay and discovered fresh bombil, deep-fried is beyond yum! If ever asked what goes superbly with a chilled beer? The answer is ‘Bombil Fry‘ aka ‘Bombay Duck.’

When a duck ain't a duck

When a duck ain’t a duck

Bombil  is actually a lizardfish… uh yeah… this duck is now actually a lizard? What is it with the misleading names and this fish?

It is rather popular with folks from Maharashtra… and the dried form is privately ‘smuggled’ across borders – hence my tasting contraband ‘Bombay Duck’ in New York back in the early 90s.

Any food in your ‘hood’ with a misleading name?

I’ve also come across :

Other Sunday Snaps:



  1. So you already have Parsi friends, huh? Well, add me in the list. If not as friends, I at least fit the online acquaintance list.

    • I do indeed. Coming up on 30 years. 🙂 And happy to add to the ‘online acquaintances’ list.

      Reminded me how last night at Mahindra Blues my partner was introducing me to a fabulous voice recording artist. She and I laughed. Shared that we have been great virtual friends for years now… rarely meet in person but keep connecting and commenting in the virtual world!

  2. Ah brilliant! I have a sachet of Bombay Duck in my cupboard, left uneaten since I gave up meat (not fish) – now I can eat it! Yum! Made my day….

  3. Sonel says:

    I have never eaten duck and don’t think I ever will, especially if it’s really lizard. Funny lizard as well. 😆 But yes, strange how they come up with the funny names that has no relation to it.

    Here in SA we have the skilpadjie (little tortoise) that some eat. Too fatty for me. Ate it once and didn’t like it much, but yes, the first time they told me it was a ‘little tortoise’ I was totally disgusted. Of course it wasn’t really a little tortoise. 😆 They have other names for it as well. Included the Wikipedia link.


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