Indian duck curry featuring a rosy pink duck breast in a hot and sour bold curry sauce featuring tamarind and fenugreek.
If rosy pink duck is not your thing, don’t worry you can safely cook it so it is perfect for you. The whole thing is done in around 45 minutes.
Duck Breast Curry with Tamarind Masala Sauce
High up on the list of foods that I love are Indian food and duck. As a result, this Indian duck masala appearing here was somewhat of an inevitability.
It features a hot and sour curry sauce with tamarind and jaggery. Its flavours are loosely similar to my ever-popular chicken pathia recipe.
Then it gets topped by a gloriously spiced and perfectly cooked duck breast.
The duck is cooked using the cold pan method to render out the fat and deliver perfectly crispy skin. It is a method you can see in a video on my duck with orange sauce recipe.
And if this Indian duck curry is as much your mojo as it is mine, then you must check out my Thai duck curry.
If you fancy a Chinese fakeaway then how about this duck chow mein?
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use tamarind concentrate?
Yes, but you need to take care with tamarind concentrate because they are all different strengths.
Adding too much will make this duck curry too sour and also give it a metallic aftertaste. If you are using concentrate, find a brand you like learn its idiosyncrasies and stick with it.
Can I cook the duck breast so it isn’t pink?
Yes, of course. You may need to let the sauce down a little more whilst the duck is resting.
I remove my duck at around 53-54°C or 127°F and remove it to rest.
If you want your duck medium aim for 60°C or 140°F and well done at 65°C or 150°F.
I am not one of those foodies that tells you how you should like your food, we’m all grown-ups and like different things, do what makes your belly happy!
Can I save the duck fat?
Yes, but you do need to remember it is flavoured, so it is less versatile than clean duck fat. But I brush it on chapati or use it as the fat for any Indian curry and it is particularly good added to my air fryer onion bhajis.
This Indian duck curry is great with two simple additions, tandoori style naan bread and rice.
Super simple and easy, and if you happen to slip and brush the naan bread with the reserved duck fat then even better. I also sprinkle them with poppy seeds too, because that’s the way I roll.
For something a little different, then how about this delicious Indian cabbage and potato sabji.
I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- 30cm or 12″ frying pan or skillet.
- Chopping board.
- kitchen knife.
- Weighing scales and or measuring jug, cups and spoons.
- Small mixing bowl.
- Kettle for boiling water.
- Small fine mesh sieve.
- Kitchen tongs, serving and stirring spoons.
- Quick read meat thermometer. Optional but recommended.
Indian duck curry, a hot and sour Indian inspired dish featuring a rosy pink duck breast with crispy spiced skin and wonderful rich and thick gravy.
- 2 Duck Breasts
- 35g (2.5cm or 1" cube) Tamarind
- 35ml (2 Tbsp + 1 Tsp) Boiling Water
- ½ Tsp Turmeric
- ½ Tsp Amchur
- ½ Tsp Cumin
- 1 Tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 8 Curry Leaves
- 2 Green Chilli Peppers
- 1 Tbsp Fennel Seeds
- 1 Black Cardamom Pod
- 35g Ginger (Thumb Sized Piece)
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 225g (1 Cup) Tomato Passata
- 1 Tsp Ground Coriander
- 1 Tbsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves
- 1 Tbsp Jaggery
- 175ml (¾ Cup) Water
- 1 Tbsp Garam Masala
- Pour the boing water over the tamarind pulp and allow it to sit for 10 minutes then mash it and pass it through a fine mesh sieve.
- Mix together the turmeric, amchur, cumin, Kashmiri chilli powder and half of the salt.
- Take the duck breasts, trim them of any sinew and cut a 1cm (½") crosshatch or diamond pattern on the skin, then rub them with the spice mix.
- Place the duck breasts, skin side down, in a cold 30cm or 12" skillet or frying pan and then turn on the heat to a little below medium and allow to sit for 8-10 minutes. Do not be tempted to look for at least 6 minutes! The duck should slowly begin to leach fat and then begin to sizzle.
- Peel the ginger and grate it.
- Peel and mash the garlic cloves.
- Cut the green chillies in half lengthways.
- By now the duck should be nice and crispy, remove, and place on a chopping board and cover with foil.
- Drain all but a scant covering of oil from the pan and return it to a medium heat.
- Add the curry leaves, slit chillies, fennel seeds and cardamom pod and cook for 60 seconds.
- Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.
- Pour in the tomato passata and water, then add the tamarind, remaining salt, ground coriander, fenugreek leaves, jaggery and any remaining dry rub from the duck breasts.
- Stir and cook for 2 minutes or until it starts to bubble.
- Add the duck breasts, skin side up, then reduce the heat to low to medium and cook until the duck reaches your desired level of doneness, this could be anywhere from 5-10 minutes. I aim for 53-54°C or 127°F for a nice rare duck breast.
- Remove the duck and rest under foil for 5 minutes.
- Add the garam masala and test the sauce for salt and continue simmering for the resting time.
- Carve the duck and serve on top of the curry sauce.
Brushing a naan bread with the set aside duck fat is very very naughty and you absolutely must do it!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 679Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 327mgSodium: 1411mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 8gSugar: 22gProtein: 65g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.