Home cooking at "Bombay Duck Co."

May 31, 2013 3:03:45 PM PDT
At home with the Vaidya family, happiness is built around Mom Rekha's cooking. If she is at the restaurant, she will definitely treat you like one of her own.

Rekha's son, Rohan opened "Bombay Duck Co." on Bleecker Street to share the food he knows so well - and his customers are smitten.

In the restaurant, there are just 18 seats, and a pretty concise menu. There are lentils, potato patties and toasties - which are chili-infused grilled cheese sandwiches.

There is also the curious name for the restaurant - "Bombay Duck", and no, "duck" isn't what you think. It is actually a fish that is popular in Bombay. It is an eel that is only found in India, and is very difficult to get in the United States.

So when the restaurant can't get their hands on Bombay duck, they use tilapia for the Bombay fish curry. The dry marinade is made of turmeric, red chili powder and tamarind. The filets are then sautéed with garlic, then the curry comes in. There are two kinds of curry used - one made with garlic, green chilis and cilantro, and another that adds a tangy creaminess with tamarind and coconut milk.

"This dish is essentially what we grew up with," says Rohan.


  • 4 tablespoons OLIVE OIL
  • A pinch ASOFETIDA (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asafoetida)
  • 1 tablespoons CHOPPED GARLIC
  • 2 TILAPIA FILLETS(each one cut into 4 pieces, 8 pieces total)


  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • 1 cup Coriander Leaves
  • 1 cup fresh Ginger
  • 1 cup Garlic Cloves
  • 1 cup Green Chillies


  • 1 Tablespoon dry Tamarind
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
    DIRECTIONS: In a shallow frying pan heat olive oil.When hot, add a pinch of asofetidad and chopped garlic. Cook till slightly brown. Add marinated tilapia and shallow fry on each side for 2 minutes. Be gentle when turning over the fish as it may break. Add 3 tablespoons of the corriander paste and cook for another 3 minutes. Next add all the Coconut Milk paste. Continue to simmer on low for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.

    Serve with white rice and garnish with fresh corriander leaves.