Thursday, October 04, 2012

In search of Bombay Duck

Yesterday as part of my search for things both ancient (ancient in coming from my past life) and new, I went in search of Bombay Duck. I had already stocked up on the sweet chilli sauce. My Asian supermarket owner looked at me blankly. Bombay Duck? He asked his wife. I've heard of it, she said, but I don't know what it is. It's fish, I said, salted fish. It smells.

Sadly, I came home carrying my sweet chilli sauce, my sambal  (very hard to get a reasonable variety of sambal in Australia now), my bamboo skewers, my Tom Yum paste, my Malaysian sate sauce, my Vietnamese vermicelli and my mild curry paste. I fear that I can no longer cope with the very hot. It's actually getting harder to get proper curry paste in the normal supermarkets - its all sort of a mock version. I used to make my own. but that was some time ago. I also wanted, blush, keens hot mustard powder. Do they still make it?

That eclectic mix is a sad sign of a mental retreat to a now distant past, a desire to cook again some of the things that I used too. Roast leg of lamb Swedish style? I actually have no idea whether or not it was Swedish at all, but in crude terms it's lamb cooked in coffee. I liked it because it was a little different.

While Bombay Duck is now apparently banned in the EU, sort of an Indian version of the British sausage for those who know their Yes Minister, I believe that we can still get it in Australia. So I live in hope. 


Evan said...

Keens Curry Paste is still around!

If you don't like very hot I guess you won't be using much sambal. That stuff is ferocious. I remember once (in my 20's) ordering sambal eggs in an Indonesian restaurant, I have never felt the need to again.

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Evan and thanks. Oddly, I can still eat sambal as an addition. I seem to have a difference tolerance to chilli hot vs curry hot. Mind you, sambal eggs strikes me as potentially very hot indeed!

Anonymous said...

And I still do coffee lamb as a special treat! It's a great favourite with my lot, but I'm naughty now and use cream rather than Carnation. Mind you, the redcurrant jelly can sometimes be hard to find. I also have an ancient Robert Carrier recipe (also called Swedish Lamb)which has the lamb in chunks, and involves carrots, so more a casserole, but nowhere near as nice as 'ours'. Gosh that brings back memories!

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi JCW. Any chance of putting the recipe up in comments? It is (ahem)quite a long time since I tried to make it.

Rummuser said...

Jim, Bombay Duck is a fish in our part of the world. It is a great favourite in the West Coast.

My cooking days are over. My help insists that since there is little to do around the house, she must cook everyday. She is willing to take directions but that is all!

Jim Belshaw said...

I know, Ramana. It's the same Bombay Duck. Ah, the luxury of someone cooking!

Anonymous said...

Lamb: leg (whole or butterflied.
Rub lamb with salt and mustard (yep, good old fashioned mustard powder), cut slits in flesh and insert slivers of garlic. Brown all over in heavy based pan, then transfer to rack in baking dish; cok until desired doneness in moderate oven or BBQ, but you must have a pan to catch the juices. Baste frequently with a strong coffee and sherry mixture (instant c and sherry de cuisine are fine; proportions about 1: 4coffee:sherry; you should need at least 1 cup ). Rest your lamb when done. Mix 1-2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly with enough cornflour to thicken sauce, then add cream, sour cream, or evaporated milk (abt 1/2 cup). Serve with your favourite veg - roast potatoes are a must, and wash down with an aged Hunter shiraz - bliss! This is very rich, so follow with some summer berries sprinkles with a little eg moscato (and drink the rest) or a fizzy sorbet soda; take a tall glass, add a small scoop of berry sorbet, and top up with a carefully poured nice domestic fizz. Toast old times and old loves!

Jim Belshaw said...

Thanks, J. I have added the recipe to the roast lamb Swedish post.