This duck curry is cooked in a chilli-coconut sauce with fragrant lemongrass. Cucumber pickles, coriander and roti all make great accompaniments.
- 4 duck breasts (150gm each), halved crossways
- 2 duck Marylands (300gm each), halved through the joint
- 15 each dried long red chillies and dried small red chillies, broken up and soaked in hot water for 2 hours
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 50 gm ginger, coarsely chopped
- 25 gm galangal, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 2 lemongrass stalks (white part only), coarsely chopped, green ends reserved
- 8 gm fresh turmeric, coarsely chopped
- 3 tsp roasted shrimp paste (see note)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
- 500 ml (2 cups) coconut milk
- 3 tsp finely grated palm sugar, or to taste
- 1Heat a large non-stick deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add duck in batches, skin-side down and fry without turning until fat renders and skin is golden brown (2-4 minutes). Set aside, reserving 1 tbsp fat in pan.
- 2For curry paste, drain and chop chillies, then combine with onion, ginger, galangal, garlic, lemongrass, turmeric, shrimp paste and oil in a small food processor or blender and process to a coarse paste.
- 3Heat reserved fat over medium heat, add curry paste and fry until colour deepens and onion becomes fragrant (8-10 minutes). Add coconut milk and 375ml water, bring to a simmer over high heat, then add duck and lemongrass ends, and bring back to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered with a lid for 30 minutes, then remove lid and stir occasionally until duck is very tender and sauce is thick and deepened in colour (1½-1¾ hours; curry will release fat as it cooks – you can spoon this off as you go, but leave a little for the sauce to fry as it reduces). Add palm sugar and stir until dissolved (1-2 minutes). Season well with salt and lime juice and serve curry with steamed rice.
Note Roasted shrimp paste is available from Asian grocers; to roast it yourself, wrap shrimp paste in foil and roast in a moderate oven until pungent (5-10 minutes).
Drink Suggestion: Fragrant, hoppy India pale ale. Drink suggestion by Max Allen