Sunday, 31 March 2013

Tharavu Mappas/ Duck in a Spicy Coconut Gravy

Cooking has not been at its best for the last few months with the summer heat killing my boys' appetite. But with a cool change, I can see their love for and request for food growing. Today's recipe was a special Easter breakfast request from them and though I am down with flu and fever, I simply couldn't ignore it.

Tharavu mappas is a spicy preparation of duck in coconut milk and is a speciality of Kuttanadu region in Kerala, otherwise known as the Rice Bowl of Kerala. So yes, this curry is also another speciality from my MILs kitchen. This curry, like all  her Kuttanadan specials, is her special work of art in the kitchen. The sharpness of the roasted spices is well balanced with the sweetness and richness of the coconut milk. The potato pieces soak up rich fatty gravy and in my mind I have a never ending battle trying to chose between the potatoes and the duck pieces in the curry. The rich aroma of the coconut oil and the heavy spices fill your household but you have to taste this to appreciate the depth of flavours in this dish.

Let me take a few clicks before my boys lick the curry bowl clean; we are celebrating Easter in Kuttanadan style this year. Happy Easter folks!

Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes (pressure cooker method)

  • 2 kg duck, skin removed and cut into 2 inch pieces (weighed before cleaning) (I use only a few pieces of fat for the flavour)
  • 4 medium sized brown onion or 4 cups of pearl onions, sliced
  • 2 inch piece ginger, sliced
  • 7 large cloves of garlic
  • 7 green chilly, sliced (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tbsp chilly powder
  • 3 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp pepper powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • 1 large potato, cut into cubes and cooked in salt
  • 2 cups thin coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk
1. Coarsely crush onion, ginger, garlic and green chilly and keep aside. Mix all the spice powders in water to make a thick paste and keep aside.
2. Heat coconut oil in a pressure cooker over medium heat. Add crushed onion mixture and salt and stir until it turns light brown. Add curry leaves and stir. Now add the spices soaked in water and stir to mix well. Keep roasting over low flame until a fresh roasted aroma rises. Add the duck pieces and mix until the spices coat well on them. Add thin coconut milk with vinegar and salt to taste. Pressure cook for 1 - 2 whistles. (The time to cook may depend on the size of your duck pieces). When the pressure dies, open the cooker, add cooked potato pieces and heat it over medium heat. Add thick coconut milk, mix well and when it is about to boil remove from flame.

Serve hot with Appam.


  1. I've always wanted to try duck! I will definitely make this. Looks very delicious! :)

  2. so tempting coconut gravy, love it...

  3. Very tempting recipe.I am not used to have ducks,but i am doing to try the recipe with chicken.

  4. looks really yummy... especially the way you've presented it...

  5. very tempting dish, i have tried only roasted duck (store bought)...

  6. Lovely snaps.. Tempting me sooo much.. Happy Easter to u too :)

  7. Welcome back!!
    Very tempting snap, never tasted duck in my life, but got to say it looks yummy , have seen a similar preparation in Master Chef!! Also the idea of placing the duck over lettuce leaf is great, gives the authentic feel. Love the appam anytime!!

  8. Love the creamy and rich texture of the gravy,tempting clicks.

  9. Been wondering about the silence here :) Duck is something that I somehow have never cooked with - it's hard to find them here. The curry looks so good. May be I will try this out when I go home for vacation :)

  10. never tried duck...looks nice and good combo for appam...your appam too looks nice

  11. Mouthwatering..vayyil boat odikkaamm..Yummy ,Hope u had a great Easter!!

  12. Happy Easter and I am going to try this with vegetarian duck.

  13. looks very tempting & delish!!

  14. duck and appam!! my what more tempting than this...already craving for it. happliy following ur drop by mine as well.

  15. This looks so yum and tasty. Come and participate in my event and 3 giveaways.

  16. Never tried duck ....Looks yummy :)
    Will try once for sure !!

  17. appam and duck!!! irresisitable combo!!! think its our blood. :) Also, do feel free to drop by my new blog - pick quicks when u get the time...glad if u wud be a follower there as well.