Trinidad curry duck is certainly a favorite for any occasion, especially a good ole river lime.
It is made with Muscovy duck pieces with skin and bone in, curry powder popular in the islands, seasonings and pepper.
Now, the curry here is not the same as what you’ll find in India and other parts of the world. The Caribbean has its own very unique blend of curry that is predominantly turmeric, coriander, cumin and chilies. It is the secret behind this Trinidad curry duck recipe… And behind all Trini curry recipes.
What is in this Trinidad curry duck recipe
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- Muscovy duck – defeathered, roasted, cut-up
- flour or lime juice
- Caribbean green seasoning (contains chadon beni, Spanish thyme, chives, garlic, and pepper)
- curry powder (Madras curry powder or duck and goat curry powder; the local Chief brand is most popular)
- coconut milk (optional)
- fresh pepper
- fresh herbs like chadon beni
- geera (cumin) powder
If you are not currently in T&T, you can find the curry powder on Amazon.
How to make Trini curry duck
Clean and season the duck
The poultry shop usually handles defeathering, roasting and cutting up the duck for you. Sometimes though, the pieces may still have feathers and slime on them.
Remove any feathers, skin, fat and slime from the pieces with a sharp knife. Rinse with water then coat the meat with either flour or lime juice. Rinse again to remove any smell from the duck.
Once prepped, add your green seasoning (freshly made is the best), salt, pepper, and ginger.
Leave the meat to marinate overnight. If you are in a time crunch, you should marinate the meat for at least three hours.
Sauté the onion, garlic and pepper
When you’re ready to cook, place a large pot on medium heat.
Add oil and, when hot enough, add the chopped onion. Stir for a couple minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Next, add in garlic and pepper and cook for another minute or two.
Cook the curry
Currying in Trinidad follows the same basic steps:
- add the curry powder to the cooked onion, garlic, pepper and oil
- stir continuously and patch for two to five minutes
- add water to the patched curry powder
- allow the liquid to become paste-like which takes about ten minutes
- then add whatever you want to curry – in this case it is the duck pieces
Alternatively, in a separate bowl, you can mix the curry powder and water and add to the cooked onion, garlic and pepper. Doing this eliminates Step #2.
I personally prefer patching the curry powder to make sure it’s fully cooked and won’t cause any upset tummies (which can happen with improperly cooked curry).
Add the seasoned duck
With the curry patched and cooked down, it’s time to add the seasoned duck. Be sure to mix and coat the meat with that thick curry paste.
Cover the pot and allow the meat to release its own natural liquid. You will want this liquid to boil off completely, otherwise you’ll get a ‘fresh’ taste from the meat.
After about 20 minutes, remove the cover. Turn up the heat if necessary so the duck pieces are completely dry. This will take about 10 to 20 more minutes. Stir often as the liquid dries.
Add seasonings and water
With meat cooked and well coated, add the geera (cumin) powder at this point and patch with the meat for two minutes.
Next, add water – about 4 cups should be sufficient. This water will give you a nice curry sauce to go with the meat. If you like extra sauce, add more water but if you prefer a drier side dish, 3 or 4 cups of water should be enough.
Optional ingredients like coconut milk and extra fresh seasonings could be added at this point.
Partially cover the pot and allow to boil to your desired sauce thickness. This can take another 30 minutes.
What to serve with curry duck
Curry duck is most often served with other Indian-inspired dishes. So, you can have it with dhal, rice and curry chicken or dhalpuri roti or buss-up-shut.
Can you batch make curry duck
You can make a large batch of curry duck and freeze the extras. It stays really well in the freezer for three to six months.
To eat with the duck, you can also batch make dhalpuri roti or paratha roti and freeze separately. Be sure to wrap the roti tightly to prevent any freezer burn.
Recipe for Trinidad curry duck
Trinidad curry duck recipe
- 4 lbs Muscovy duck (defeathered, roasted, cleaned, cut up)
- 2 tbsp flour or lime juice
- 1/3 cup fresh green seasoning (chadon beni, chives, garlic)
- 2 tbsp ginger (freshly grated)
- 2 tsp salt
- fresh pepper
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (grated)
- 3 tbsp Madras curry powder
- 2 tsp geera (cumin) powder
- 4¼ cups water
- 2 tbsp chadon beni leaves (chopped)
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- coconut milk (optional)
- Remove any feathers, skin, fat, slime from duck pieces.
- Wash the meat thoroughly.
- Coat the meat with flour or lime juice.
- Rinse the meat again.
- Grind chadon beni, garlic, chives, pepper and any other preferred seasoning.
- Mix the green seasoning with the duck meat.
- Mix in salt, pepper, and grated ginger.
- Cover the meat and refrigerate overnight (or at least three hours).
Make the curry
- Place a large pot on medium heat.
- Add vegetable oil and allow to heat up.
- Saute onions until translucent.
- Add in garlic and pepper.
- Cook for another minute or two.
- Mix in curry powder.
- Stir often and patch for 2 – 5 minutes.
- Add ¼ cup water to the patched curry.
- Stir occasionally for 5 minutes.
- Stir more continuously for another 5 minutes as the curry forms a dry paste.
- Add seasoned duck pieces and additional salt.
- Mix to coat the pieces with the dry curry paste.
- Cover the pot and leave to cook for 20 minutes (the meat will spring its own liquid).
- Remove the pot cover and cook for another 10 to 20 minutes until all the liquid has boiled off.
- Stir often as the meat dries.
- Add geera (cumin) powder.
- Stir continuously as all the liquid has boiled off. Continue for 2 more minutes.
- Add 4 cups water and optional ingredients like fresh seasoning and coconut milk.
- Cover pot partially.
- Cook until the sauce reaches your desired thickness (approx. 30 mins).
- Serve hot.