Monday, November 2, 2009

Duck/Tharavu Roast…….inspired by Ammachi’s Kuttanadan Style!

……..Yes, I do want to stay with her…..listen to her stories…..taste her food and of course enjoy the natural beauty of Kuttanadu, "the rice bowl of Kerala", a place near Alappuzha and as I have already mentioned in one of my posts, I have never been to Kuttanadu, and from what I have gathered from CJJ’s vivid descriptions, this place is laced with palm fringed canals and small rivers… lush green paddy fields……locals traversing in small country boats……. men herding a flock of ducks and the tail wagging and quacking of ducks !! It’s not just my husband who makes me go crazy with all these details… it is as though, my brothers-in law have also taken their vows to tickle my imagination….when one claims that it is heaven, then the other goes one step ahead and sends me the picture of mouth-watering duck roast their grandma makes!! I had no other option but to call her up and learn to make the chicken roast…..and I was quite surprised to learn that her famous chicken and duck roast is made with very few ingredients. I had to double check with her if there was no need to add coriander powder, chili powder and tomatoes which is generally used in chicken roast preparations, which are either curried and then pan seared or deep fried and then roasted but this preparation is based on grandma’s recipe!.....

I wrote those lines more than 2 years ago and today I thought I will share the that picture ……..

……..the picture that tempted me to take a culinary peep into CJJ’s grandma’s kitchen……..and any true blue non vegetarian Malayali having one quick glance at that one can understand our plight, how self-torturing it was for us to look at that picture and drool over it each time, especially when you are away from the delicacies of your homeland……… and yesterday when we were digging for this picture from my brother-in-law’s album, I repeated the same question I had asked CJJ whenever we viewed the picture in the past, “ How could she cook so much ……that too when she is in her 80’s just ‘coz R was visiting……..?? When do you think I would be able to have a taste of her ‘kaipunyam’? “ and I was told , “ Ohhhh…you should see her cooking…..she is ….she is F..A..S..T and she comes up with the tastiest dishes!!” and as always, I was left with sufficient amount of uncertainty for the last part of my question!

In the past I have tried to translate the gist of her recipes she shared with me over the phone and though I have never had the chance to taste her real version, I have tried to interpret her recipes with my limited skills. CJJ has been my judge all these years and the way he nodded his head after tasting each of my experiments, always gave me the push I needed to explore a bunch of her dishes, I have already shared with you.

This Duck /Tharavu Roast recipe is pretty much in line with the Chicken Roast recipe that has already been featured here. Some minor changes have been made in the proportion of ingredients to suit this particular variety of poultry and I must add that though I am not a duck lover, this is the only duck preparation that makes me go for second and third serving! Here’s the recipe we followed:

To marinate:
  • Around 1 kg Duck/Tharavu, cut, cubed and cleaned
  • 8 tsp Masala Powder ( Recipe follows)
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper ( fresh green peppercorn paste is ideal)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 2-3 green chillies, cut lengthwise
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ to ½ cup water to pressure cook
To Roast:
  • 2 ¼ cups thinly sliced small red pearl onions/shallots/Kunjulli
  • ¼ cup finely chopped ginger
  • ¼ cup finely chopped garlic
  • 2tbsp finely chopped green chillies
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • ½ tsp Masala Powder* (Recipe Follows)\
  • 2-4 tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp water
To Make the Masala Powder: (Grind to a fine powder and use as per the instructions given in the recipe)
  • ¼ cup fennel seeds/perinjeerakam
  • 12-15 cinnamon/karugapatta
  • 8-10 cloves/grambu
  • 2 cardamom/Elakkaya
  • Marinate cubed pieces of duck meat with ingredients listed under “To marinate”, except water and leave on the kitchen counter for 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a large pan and sauté small onions until they turn transparent and then add green chilies, ginger, garlic and curry leaves and cook until they are soft. At this stage add cubed pieces of marinated duck ; sprinkle 1-2 tbsp water to the vessel and take off all the leftover marinade and pour to the pan; cook for around 20 minutes in low heat or until the raw smell goes. Transfer this to a pressure cooker and pour ¼ to ½ cup water and cook until done and soft.
  • When pressure cooker cools down, transfer the cooked meat and gravy, back to the large pan and bring to a boil in medium heat. At this stage, sprinkle ½ tsp masala powder and adjust salt if required; tear off curry leaves and throw them into the pan and let it simmer for another 15-30 minutes, until gravy and the cooked poultry come together as one single mass. Turn off the heat depending on the roasted texture you aim for; you can keep it lightly wet as in my picture or can make it a bit more dry.
  • Let the cooked dish sit in the room temperature for minimum 45-60 minutes, allowing the flavours to get together and serve warm with Rice or Palappam or any leavened or unleavened bread of your choice.
Related Posts:
Duck Curry Paalappam Pepper Fish Fry Karimeen Pappas Beef Stew Chemmeen Varattiyathu-Prawn Roast Mashed Tapioca & Fish Curry Chicken Roast - Kuttanadan Style Pepper Fish Fry


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