Sukka Boomla Nu Patio (Dried Bombay Duck Patio) Tarapori Patio Parsi Style

My mother had been asking me for days to help her with a recipe and I didn’t pay much attention to what the recipe was and kept brushing it aside. It’s only when she said the magic words ” You might like this for your blog” is when I paid attention. She was absolutely right because what she wanted to make is a Parsi recipe that most households adore but you will never see on any restaurant or even catering service menu.

Sukkha Boomla Nu Patio and we make it the traditional Tarapori Patio style is a wonderful recipe and one that I’ve never really shared. I love boomla ( Bombil ) but this dried version made almost like a pickle is a great recipe and just oozing with flavour. Parsi cuisine is a lovely balance of  Sweet spicy and sour flavours or as we like to say in Gujarati ” Khatoo,Mithoo Tikhoo ” and this sukka boomla patio has all this in perfect harmony.

What is Sukkha Boomla ?

We Parsis call it Boomla, the local term is Bombil but both names are popularly used when it comes to the fish Bombay Duck. Yes it is a fish and Sukka Boomla is Dried Bombay Duck fish. It’s an extremely soft fish and you can eat its whisker like bones. Best served fried if you ask me though there are also popular versions where they stuff the fried fish with baby shrimp. We Parsis like to eat it fried or in the form of a patio like in this recipe I’ve shared.

What is Bombay Duck ?

Bombay Duck is a type of Lizard fish local to the shores of Mumbai. It’s a popular local delicacy and you’ll find it on many menus that serve Malvani cuisine, Maharashtrian food or even popular seafood restaurants in the city. It is only found in these waters around the city and legend has it that when Lord Ram wanted to build a bridge to Lanka he asked all the fish in the sea for help. Everyone obliged except for the stubborn little bombil ( Bombay Duck ) and so in a fit of rage flung it aside and it landed in the seas next to Mumbai.

Why is it called Bombay Duck?

There are many stories about how this little fish got its name though the truth is there’s no real proof. The most popular story is that the British officers would ship this fish all over via their railway system. Huge wagons loaded with this fish were labeled Bombay Dak , Dak meaning mail, hence calling the fish cargo Bombay mail. The British pronounced Dak as duck and as they say the rest is history,  The fish was called Bombay Duck.

What is Tarapori Patio?

This is a recipe that is meant to have originated in a small town in Gujarat called Tarapore. So the Patio made there in its unique style is called Tarapori Patio. It has the same ingredients, oil, Parsi vinegar, chillies, garlic, jaggery and usually made with dried Bombay duck ( sukka boomal ) or even prawns.

How is this different from Prawn Patio?

There are different types of Patio recipes, some are gravy based almost like a curry served with fish, the other is like the Prawn Patio recipe I’ve previously shared with is more chunky. This is a little different since it’s more of a pickle. For starters, you can store this Sukka Boomla no Patio in the fridge for days, you can eat it cold or warm. Unlike the prawn patio it is devoid of onions, tomatoes, red chilli powder, coriander and perhaps a few more ingredients. It does however also share some of the ingredients like jaggery, Parsi style sugar cane vinegar, garlic etc.



250 grams of Dried Bombay Duck Fish

18-20 Dried Red Chillies

10 Pods of Garlic

1 Cup Vinegar  ( Parsi Kolah Vinegar )

1 Cup Oil

1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds

1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Small Knob of Jaggery


Cut the dried bombay duck ( sukka boomla ) into smaller pieces.

In a mixer or grinder add the chillies, garlic, cumin seeds and turmeric powder and grind into a paste. Little by little add about half the cup of Vinegar to help it all come together into a nice smooth paste. Do not add any water or oil, only vinegar as and when it needs some liquid to help it grind into a paste.

In a thick bottom pan add in the cup of oil and let it heat. Add the masala paste and cook it for a total of 20 minutes.

Half way through add the rest of the vinegar, salt and jaggery and let it cook. Make sure it cooks for a good 20 minutes so the raw paste cooks well. Don’t be alarmed at the amount of oil and vinegar, this will be a pickle and it needs both ingredients.

Once it’s all cooked, add in your dried Bombay duck and cook it for an additional 15 minutes. Once it’s all cooked, store it in a bottle or box and enjoy it with a plate of dal and rice or even rotis.

You can eat this hot or cold, however you like.

How To Store The Patio ?

You can transfer the cooked patio into any air tight container and refrigerate it for days. The oil and vinegar are natural preservatives and will help give it a longer shelf life.

Can I freeze the patio?

I wouldn’t recommend freezing a cooked patio since this is a pickle and the vinegar and oil will help preserve the dish. You can store it in the refrigerator or even on your shelf so long as it is in an airtight container.

How To Serve The Patio?

The best way to enjoy this particular patio is with a steaming plate of dal and rice. That’s how most Parsi households enjoy it but you can also eat it with rotis or treat it as a traditional pickle and enjoy it with your whole meal.

More Parsi Recipes –

Jardaloo Salli Murghi ( Salli Chicken )

Prawn Patio

Salli Per Eedu


1 Comment

  1. Another Parsi favoarite comes out of our Triple T’s kitchen
    Tho’ one could be repelled when nostrils are smitten
    But spicy and sour
    With wee sweet power
    The flavors bust brilliantly as the first morsel’s bitten!

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