East Indian Fried Dry Bombil Masala#FishFriday

Dry Bombils are eaten mainly during the rainy season. A few years back it used to rain so heavily that no fish was available in the market so my mother use to fry these dry bombils masala.
In Bombay these are readily available, mostly brought during winter, then cleaned, dried again in the sun and then stored for use  through out year. In this recipe, we fry the bombils after marinating it with freshly ground red masala. These can be frozen and fried whenever required, stays good for months. This is my real comfort food, whenever I want something tasty, spicy and crispy.

10 - 12 Thick Dried Bombay Ducks/Bombils - cleaned
8 - 10 Dried Kashmiri Red Chillies
1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
8 Big Cloves Garlic
½ Teaspoon Turmeric powder
Salt To Taste
½ Cup + 2 Tablespoon Vinegar
Oil as required for frying

Wash the bombay ducks/bombils well in water, then soak in vinegar for 10 - 15 minutes. 
Now clean them by cutting the stomach, tail and fins with a kitchen scissors.
Soak the red chillies in warm water for 30 minutes. Squeeze out the water and some of the seeds too.
In a small grinding jar add the red chillies , cumin seeds, garlic and turmeric powder. Grind this to a fine paste adding 2 tablespoons vinegar. Do not add too much water, while grinding can add 2 tablespoons, if necessary add more vinegar and grind this to a fine paste. Add salt, grind it again so that it well mixed. 
Take the soaked bombils from the vinegar solution and apply this ground paste to it well. Then take a meat mallet and lightly flatten them. At this stage you can freeze them in a single layer in an airtight container. Keep them aside for 10 - 15 minutes.
Heat oil in a broad frying pan , add 2 - 3 tablespoons of oil, arrange the bombay ducks and fry them on medium low flame till they are crisp and brown on one side
then flip them and fry till that side too is crisp and brown. 
Fried Dry Bombil Masala is ready to eat.
Enjoy this with just dal rice or even roti sabzi, they taste delicious.
My Notes
You can also use this Vindaloo Masala, add about 2 - 3 tablespoons and grind with garlic, salt and vinegar.

Seafood/Fish, Dried Bombils, Bombay Duck, 
East Indian, Fried, Vindaloo Masala, Fish Friday, Comfort Food , Main Course 

Fish Friday Foodies
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Hosted by Sue Lau
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East Indian Fried Dry Bombil Masala from Sneha's Recipe
Fish Po' Boy Sandwich from Making Miracles
Popcorn-Battered Fried Fish, Remembering Oklahoma, and Kids in the Kitchen from Culinary Adventures with Camilla 
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Sneha's Recipe
Sneha's Recipe

Happy Home-maker and culinary enthusiast.


  1. I had to look up bombils. They remind me of smelt which run in the spring here in Michigan and are cooked much the same way. I'm going to try your seasoning the next time I make them. Thanks Sneha.

  2. I had to look up Bombay duck! These sound like they hit on all those snacky / comfort food notes - spicy, crunchy and satisfying!