Pepper Duck Curry

Right from the heart of Kuttanad in Kerala, this pepper duck curry will warm your heart and soul this winter. Enjoy it at your Christmas or New Years feast with hot appams, puttu or just rice honestly, and relish the food heaven you will walk into. Unlike most Indian Curries, this one doesn't use red chilli powder for spice, instead using peppercorns and green chillies to punch in that heat. This curry is a delight and I often find myself sipping on the coconut gravy long after I'm done with my meal.

P.S: If you're like me and don't cook a lot of duck, you can clean your duck with a vinegar and turmeric mix to omit any strange smells before cooking.




1 whole duck (cleaned, with skin on or off according to preference)
5 Garlic pods (crushed)
2 inch Ginger (crushed)
6 Green Chillies (slit)
3 Onions (sliced)
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
3 tbsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
2 tsp Pepper powder (ideally, freshly ground)
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tomato (chopped)
1/2 cup Coconut Milk
1 cup Hot Water
3 sprigs Curry Leaves
1/4 cup Grated Coconut/ coconut bites
Coconut Oil as required
Salt to taste


Clean and cut the duck. I usually enjoy mine with skin-on but you can take it off if you'd like. Set aside.

Add coconut oil to a pressure cooker on medium heat.

Add crushed ginger, crushed garlic and green chillies to the coocnut oil and fry until the raw smell is gone.

Add sliced onions with salt and saute until the onions turn transluscent.

Add tomatoes and fry until they turn mushy and cooked.

Lower the flame, add turmeric powder, coriander powder, pepper powder, garam masala, fennel seeds and saute for a few minutes.

Add the duck and fry with the masala for 4-5 minutes.

Add the hot water and salt, pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.

Turn off heat and allow pressure to release naturally.

Add water at this point depending on how much gravy you want.

Turn on the lowest flame and add coconut milk, some more pepper powder and cook for 2-3 minutes and turn off flame.

For Tadka:

In a seperate pan, add coconut oil and heat on a medium flame.

Add mustard seeds, grated coconut or coconut bites and curry leaves. Once the coconut begins to brown, pour over duck curry.

Let the curry rest of 15 mins after the tadka, before serving.

Serve hot with appams, idiappams or rice!

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