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Duck Kurma

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian


Wet spice paste:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 fresh green chillies; broken in half
  • 2 tsp white poppy seeds
  • 10 raw cashewnuts
  • 7 garlic cloves; crushed
  • 2 tbsp roasted Bengal gram split
  • 1 ½ inch ginger; crushed
  • 60 gms fresh grated coconut

For the curry:

  • Whole duck approximately 1.1kg; cut into curry sized pieces
  • 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 inch cinnamon bark
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 1 large onion; finely chopped
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2-3 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes; pureed
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • Salt to season


To prepare the wet spice paste:

  • Heat oil in a large pan and add the cumin, fennel seeds and green chillies. Then add the poppy seeds, cashews and garlic; sauté for a few seconds.
  • Next add the Bengal gram, coconut and ginger. Mix well and sauté for a minute or two till the coconut turns a little toasty but not too brown.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool thoroughly. Blend with just enough water to get a wet paste.

To make the curry:

  • Heat the remaining oil in a large wok/kadhai and add the cinnamon and cardamom followed by the onion. Sauté till the onions are softened and turn light brown.
  • Next add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and curry leaves; mix to combine.
  • Add the tomato puree and season with salt. Cook on medium heat till the mixture comes together and you can notice oil appearing at the sides of the masala.
  • Next add the wet spice pasta and mix well to combine. Sauté for about 5-6 minutes on low to medium heat stirring continuously.
  • Add the duck pieces; mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add 1-2 cups water (depending on how much gravy you prefer) and bring to boil. Turn down the heat and simmer gently till the duck pieces have cooked perfectly and the gravy has thickened. Taste and season with salt if necessary.
  • Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.