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
- ‘Under normal cooking conditions the fresh bummalo fish is almost rendered to a pulp (bones and all).’
- ‘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.’
- ‘(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).’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Traditionally Bombay Duck is prepared by sun drying the bummalo fish on the beach in the open air, then deep frying it.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
Late 17th century: perhaps from Marathi bombīl.
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