Anna Zacharria's Duck Curry

I first tasted this Duck Curry in 2014 and dreamed of learning how to make it. It’s got a depth of flavour that comes from deeply caramelized onions, fresh local duck and the lusciousness of coconut cream pulling all these signature flavours of the region together.

We are deeply grateful to Anna for sharing her famous recipe and think of her and the day we spent in her kitchen every time we make it. We are also pretty thrilled Anna shared her Secret Garam Masala recipe so our recipe can taste as good as hers.

Anna Zacharria, Green Palms Homestay, Kerala
Anna Zacharria, Green Palms Homestay, Kerala

Anna Zacharria’s Duck Curry Recipe



1 (2 lb) duck – breasts and legs
1½ teaspoons garlic paste
1½ teaspoons ginger paste
½ teaspoon turmeric
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 medium potatoes, quartered
1 (14 ounce/398 mL) coconut milk – divided
3 Tablespoons coconut oil – divided
3 cups sliced (lengthwise) red onions
2 cups sliced (lengthwise) tomatoes
1 long green chili, topped and sliced lengthwise
3 Tablespoons ground coriander
¼ teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon Anna’s Secret Garam Masala
1 teaspoon salt
1 (14 ounce/398 mL) coconut cream
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 shallots, sliced lengthwise
20 – 30 fresh curry leaves


1. Place the duck, ginger and garlic paste, turmeric, pepper, salt, potato and ½ the can of coconut milk in a pressure cooker and cook for 10 minutes then set aside to cool. Note: If you don’t have a pressure cooker, cook the ingredients in a heavy bottomed stockpot for 45 to 60 minutes.
2. Heat 2 Tablespoons of the coconut oil over medium heat in a wok, add the onions and cook until translucent and soft.
3. Add the tomatoes and chili and cook until soft.
4. Add the coriander, turmeric, pepper, garam masala and salt and stir to distribute thoroughly.
5. Add the remaining coconut milk once the onion, tomato and spices are thoroughly browned.
6. Add the duck and potato mixture, stir to combine and cover with a lid.
7. Bring to a boil, lower slightly and cook for 10 minutes.
8. Use a spoon to break the meat into bite size pieces and then stir in the can of coconut cream and simmer until heated through.
9. Heat the remaining Tablespoon of coconut oil in a small frying pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they pop and splutter in the pan, add the shallots and curry leaves and cook until soft and translucent.
10. Serve the duck curry topped with the mustard, shallot and curry leaf mixture for a boost of flavour.
11. Enjoy with South Indian short grain rice, chutneys and a crunchy salad.

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