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Duck with cumin (Itik jintan putih)

You'll need

60 gm (½ cup) cumin seeds, roasted 2 tbsp black peppercorns 2 onions, coarsely chopped 2 heads garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped 100 ml vegetable oil 800 ml light coconut milk 8 duck marylands 25 gm (1/3 cup) fried shallots, lightly crushed, plus extra to serve (see note) To serve: coriander sprigs To serve: steamed rice


  • 01
  • Process cumin seeds and peppercorns in a spice grinder to a fine powder, then combine in a bowl with 2 tbsp water to form a paste. Process onion and garlic in a food processor to a coarse paste.
  • 02
  • Heat oil in a saucepan large enough to hold duck pieces. Add onion mixture and sauté over medium heat for 7-8 minutes without colouring. Add spice paste and stir frequently for 3-4 minutes, or until mixture is golden and oil separates.
  • 03
  • Add coconut milk and 1 litre of water. Bring to the boil, stirring frequently, add duck and fried shallots and simmer for 1½ hours or until duck is tender, then transfer duck to a roasting pan and keep warm. Reduce sauce until thickened and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • 04
  • Before serving, roast duck at 220C for 10-15 minutes to crisp the skin. Scatter with fried shallots and coriander sprigs and serve immediately with warm sauce and rice.
Note Fried shallots are available from Asian food stores.

This traditional dish is given a new twist. Here, the duck is cooked with coconut milk, cumin, garlic and onions. The heat of the dish is derived from freshly ground black pepper. This recipe is adapted from chef Sofian Hashim at Stan's Assam & Garam in Kuala Lumpur.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Savoury, spicy, cool-climate pinot noir

Featured in

Apr 2007

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