Parsi-style duck with apricots

Parsi-style duck with apricots

By
From
I Love Curry
Serves
4
Photographer
Jonathan Gregson

Inspired by a chicken dish, but I love these sweet, sour and fruity flavours with duck. The Parsis were originally from Persia, but their food is a fascinating story of their Indian journey. They adopted the sweet flavours of Gujarat, where many of them first lived, but also of the Raj, as they considered themselves quite western. They employed some of India’s best chefs who were - at the time - from Goa. This recipe combines all these influences. It’s always served with a tangle of fine, straw-like fried potatoes, which add a lovely crunch.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
15g fresh root ginger, peeled weight
5 garlic cloves
4-6 dried kashmiri chillies, seeds shaken out
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
14 black peppercorns
6 cloves
6 green cardamom pods, seeds
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
4cm cinnamon stick
2 onions, chopped
salt, to taste
500g duck legs and thighs, skinned and jointed
4 largish tomatoes, finely chopped
14 dried, ready-to-eat apricots
1 1/2-2 teaspoons grated jaggery, or sugar, or to taste
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, or to taste

Method

  1. Make a paste of the ginger and garlic, using a little water to help. Using a spice blender or mortar and pestle, make a fine powder of the dried chillies, cumin and coriander seeds, peppercorns, cloves and cardamom.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the cinnamon and onions and fry until well browned. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and cook for a couple of minutes, until golden and the garlic smells cooked. Tip in the powdered spices and salt with a good splash of water and cook for two minutes. Add the duck and tomatoes and stir for a few minutes, then pour in enough water to just cover, bring to a boil, cover and cook gently for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. You shouldn’t need more water, but add a little if the pan is dry.
  3. Add the apricots, jaggery or sugar, vinegar and a splash of water if the pan looks a little too dry; cover and cook for another 10 minutes. The sauce should now be quite thick and the duck will be tender. Taste and adjust the balance of sour and sweet flavours, adding vinegar or sugar to your taste. Serve with the potato straws below.

For the potato straws (salli)

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
400g potatoes, finely shredded, (I use the slicer part of my box grater, then finely slice the paper thin potato rounds into long, fine julienne, it works beautifully)
1/2 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil, to deep-fry

Method

  1. Toss the potato straws in the salt in a bowl. Gently heat 4cm oil in a saucepan (the wider the pan the more you can cook at once). Once the oil is medium hot, squeeze out as much water as you can from the potatoes and add a couple of large handfuls to the oil. (Do not overcrowd the pan.)
  2. Fry for five to six minutes, breaking up any tangles as much as you can with a spoon, until lightly golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat until you have cooked all the straws.
Tags:
curry
India
Indian
Asian
I
Love
Curry
Anjum
Anand
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