Definition of Bombay duck in English:

Bombay duck


  • [mass noun] The bummalo (fish), especially when dried and eaten as an accompaniment to curries.

    • ‘He had chicken tikka masala and I had rogan josh with Bombay duck; instead of wine, we had beer.’
    • ‘She also has a bad stomach (‘All that Bombay duck,’ she exclaims, ‘I can't have enough of it.’’
    • ‘Just as a Bombay duck is a type of curried fish and a Yarmouth capon is a herring, so a Welsh rabbit is a meagre substitute for the real thing.’
    • ‘Grey mullet and herring were also salted and dried, when they were known as bokkems, used like Bombay duck.’
    • ‘Before the ban, Britons ate 13 tons Bombay duck annually.’


Mid 19th century: alteration of bummalo by association with Bombay (Mumbai) in India, from which bummalo were exported; the reason for the use of the term duck is unknown.


Bombay duck