One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small elongated fish of southern Asian coasts which is dried and used as food.
Harpodon nehereus, family HarpadontidaeAlso called Bombay duck
- ‘Also known as bummalo, the first part of the name Bombay duck appears to have arisen as a corruption of the Marathi name of the fish, bombila, and has nothing to do with the city of Bombay.’
- ‘Under normal cooking conditions the fresh bummalo fish is almost rendered to a pulp (bones and all).’
- ‘But the traditional way of preparing the north-west Indian delicacy, which is made from dried bummalo fish, is for it to be dried in the sun on the beach.’
- ‘Bombay Duck is a traditional north western Indian delicacy of bummalo fish, salted and dried in the sun on the beach it was landed on, before being deep fried.’
- ‘Traditionally Bombay Duck is prepared by sun drying the bummalo fish on the beach in the open air, then deep frying it.’
- ‘One imagines, therefore, that a cosmopolitan Chinese duck might not know what it is called, just as a bummalo might wonder why it is called a duck at all.’
- ‘Also called bummalo, Bombay Duck is a marine lizardfish, Harpodon nehereus, from southern Asia, particularly abundant in the Ganges Delta and the Arabian Sea of western India.’
- ‘(And as for that popular yet pungent crispy curry condiment called Bombay duck… well it seems that the dried bummalo fish was caught long ago by European Union import restrictions).’
Late 17th century: perhaps from Marathi bombīl.
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