Duck Roast

Crackling curry leaves, smooth coconut and pungent chillies characterise this hearty tropical casserole made by Reza Mahammad
By Reza Mahammad
Duck Roast
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 1 small duck, (about 1.2 kg) skin removed

For the spice paste:

  • 150 g grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 dried chillies
  • 12 curry leaves
  • 3 large cloves garlic

For the sauce:

  • 50 ml coconut oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 3 green chillies, split along the length
  • 12 curry leaves
  • 4cm piece of ginger, shredded
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 200 ml water

For the tempering:

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 12 curry leaves
  • 2 dried chillies
  • 2 shallots, sliced

Tips and Suggestions

Frozen packs of grated coconut and curry leaves can be bought from ethnic grocers.


1. Joint the duck into eight pieces and set aside.

2. For the spice paste: heat a heavy-bottomed pan or a griddle on a low heat, and when hot add the coconut, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and dried red chillies. Toast over a low heat until the coconut turns a pale golden colour and the spices give off a nutty whiff. Add the curry leaves and garlic cloves off the heat.

3. Grind the mixture to a smooth paste in a food processor or mortar and pestle, adding a dash of water to help it along its way. Leave to one side while you make the sauce.

4. For the sauce: heat the coconut oil, fry the onions with the split green chillies, shredded ginger and curry leaves until they have turned a lovely dark brown.

5. Stir in the turmeric, chilli powder and coriander powder and tip in the duck pieces. Fry the duck in the spice masala until it browns. Pour in the water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 40 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the duck is tender. Add about 3 generous tablespoons of the ground spice paste to the curry to thicken and flavour the sauce.

6. For the tempering: heat 3 tbsp oil in a frying pan, toss in the mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chillies and shallots. Stir and fry until the shallots have browned Tip the shallot mixture into the duck curry and serve hot, with a mound of fluffy rice.

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