As a child, I hated fish, or so they thought. My mum and nana would try everything they could think of to try and get me to eat fish. Of course, I wasn’t a stubborn child except where eating fish was concerned so they had their work cut out for them. Eventually they realized that the reason I wouldn’t eat fish was that I was okay with eating fish but what I actually hated having to debone the cooked fish before eating. Ironically I didn’t mind eating fried sardines and fried karli (silver barfish), the boniest of the varieties available here, go figure! So my loving grandma would patiently sit and debone the fish on my plate, which I would very willingly eat up. Oh, the memories.
Anyway, moving on to the current day scenario, I love fish. And one of my current day favorites are crunchy (fresh) bombay duck fillets. The best part is, my husband, Ashley, is a genius at filleting these guys. Lucky me!!! Nothing could be simpler that making this dish. You really should try this. I want you to enjoy something this delicious. This is not so much a recipe, but simple pointers to making the fillets. Please adjust flavors to your liking
Crunchy Bombay Duck Fillets
Bombay ducks, cleaned and filleted
Red chilly powder
Salt, to taste
Lime juice to taste
Apple cider vinegar, to taste
Besan (chickpea flour)
Bread crumbs, to coat
Oil, for frying
Wash the fish and pat dry. Lay the fillets out flat on a plate.
Sprinkle the salt, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, lime juice and apple cider vinegar over the fish. Gently, turn over to make sure that both sides are seasoned. Its hard to give you quantities for the spices, since everyone has different preferences. I make sure that there is a little sprinkling of the spices on all the fish on both sides. Handle lightly as this is a delicate fish.
Sprinkle some chickpea flour over the fish on both sides till lightly coated. You can add a few drops of water to help you with this. The chickpea flour will help the fish stay together so please don’t omit it. Since this is a delicate fish, leaving it out will result in the fish breaking up while you try to move it around in the pan. You don’t want a thick layer or a chickpea batter coat, just a light sprinkling to bind it.
Keep aside for about 15 minutes.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a pan.
Dredge the fillets in breadcrumbs to coat them well. This will give you a crunchy fillet.
Shallow fry on a medium flame. Do not move the fish around in the pan, till a crust has formed on the bottom. Moving it to early will break the fish up. Once the bottom side has formed a nice brown crust, turn over and cook on the other side till done.