David Thompson

Geng mussaman bet - mussaman curry of duck

Serves 8


6 duck marylands
4 bay leaves
5 cardamom pods
1 piece cassia bark
5 dried red chillies
4 tablespoons chopped red shallots
5 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped galangal
3 tablespoons chopped lemongrass
1 tablespoon chopped scrapped coriander root
3 tablespoons chopped boiled peanuts
1/3 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
5 cloves
1/2 nutmeg
2 sheaths mace
2cm cassia bark
4 cardamom pods
oil for deep frying
4 potatoes, peel, quarter, and steep in water to leech out excess starch
8 small pickling onions or red shallots, peeled
3 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup boiled peanuts
2 cups coconut cream
1 cup palm sugar
4 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 cup tamarind water
1 cup pineapple juice
juice of 1 orange


Wash and dry the duck, and chop each maryland into three pieces.

Rub the duck with fish sauce and leave to marinate with bay leaves, cardamom and cassia bark.

Deseed chillies and soak in warm water for 10 minutes then squeeze dry.

Combine chillies, salt, red shallots, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, coriander root, and peanuts in a wok.

Add a little water, to prevent aromatics from scorching, and roast until brown and fragrant.

Pound roasted aromatics with a mortar and pestle. Dry roast the cumin first, slowly in a pan or oven, as it roasts faster than the other spices.

Dry roast coriander seed, cloves, nutmeg, mace, cassia and cardamom, slowly in a pan or oven.

Grind all roasted spices, in a spice grinder, and sieve them.

Work the sieved spices into the pure until a smooth paste is achieved.

Deep fry the duck until golden.

Drain on absorbent paper.

Deep fry potatoes.


Deep fry onions. Drain.

In a medium pot, bring coconut milk to the boil. Season with salt.

Add the peanuts.

Add the duck, cardamom and bay leaves.

Add the potatoes and onions. In a medium pot, crack the coconut cream, then add the paste.

Turn down the heat and simmer the paste for no less than 10 minutes.

Stir regularly to prevent the paste from catching.

If the paste begins to catch, change the pan.

If the paste is not oily enough, moisten it with some of the duck braising liquid.

Take care, as the paste is extremely hot and will splatter.

Fry until you can smell the spices.

When the paste is oily, hot, and sizzling, season it with palm sugar.

Continue to simmer.

As the sugar begins to caramelise it deepens the colour and flavour of the curry. Add the fish sauce.

Add the tamarind water.

Add the cooked, seasoned curry paste to the duck, potatoes and onions. Stir in the paste, incorporating well.

Simmer for several minutes, then finish with the pineapple and orange juice.

Check the seasoning: it should taste sweet, sour and salty.

Geng mussaman bet - mussaman curry of duck