Some of you will remember the time when British curry houses up and down the land would sell a starter called “Bombay duck.” Then in the late 90s, the European Union got jittery about cholera and bacterial contamination and banned the import of dried fish from the sub-continent. The ban was reversed but Bombay Duck never really made it back on to the menu. Indeed some “Indian”  grocers (read Bangladeshi)  will still tell you that the product is banned when, as far i know, it is not. However Shootki or Shutki or bombay duck or dried fish is creeping back in other ways. And the reincarnation in the form of bottled powders is very exciting if a little uneven as yet.

You have all probably smiled at the Shutki Raja ad on TV ( that is satellite bangla tv). Well i bought a bottle and tried it, and the smile was soon wiped off my face. It was tasteles and I reckon the garlic content of the bottle is so excessive it is sufficient to cure Aids and ward off dracula at the same time.  That is not however the case with Jellyman’s fish powder. Available in a taller, more majestic looking bottle than the squat Shutki Raja bottle, the powder is absolutely delish. My favoured method of cooking it is to sautee some onions and then pile on the powder until you have a nice consistency and the softened onion slices are hidden. Sprinkle some coriander etc. Oh one thing - the label curiously reads ‘with mild chilli powder.” That is as mad as calling George Bush an intelligent human being. It is NOT mild. It is hot. Well, it makes my balding head sweat anyway….Jellyman’s fish is a Thai product made from Cobia fish. It is distributed by Jellyman’s  and they say their aim is to

transform the Halal food distribution industry throughout Europe by providing new, exciting, vibrant and innovative products that meet the fundamental needs of our valued customers, make children happy and provide their families with high quality, great tasting products that consistently give excellent value for money.

Indeed. It won’t cure aids or ward off vampires but by gum is it good.