Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Duck /Tharavu Piralan

Having spend most of my childhood vacation days in Kuttanad, duck is one of my favorites not just for the taste but also for the memories around it.

During school days every year , the day the school closes we would board the train from Kannur and head to Changanacherry to spend our vacation with grandparents and cousins.Anticipating our visit my grandparents always got plenty of live ducks which they would keep in their backyard ponds so that we would have fresh and plentiful supply of duck when needed.They had ponds in which they grew different varieties of fish like Katla,Roghu,Sai Prince, Karimeen etc and also huge Tiger prawns.When Ducks are added to the mix it usually attracts snakes like Pythons which would come to feed on the ducks.To save the ducks from the predators nets are put across the mouth of the ponds.

Every time I make duck there is a story my kids want me to tell them.On one occasion there was a huge Python that got entangled in the net and was pulled up by the workers on to the field.We kids had all gone to see the plight of the snake that had been half beaten to death.The snake had some life left in it and maybe from fear or in its hope to escape the python started slithering in the direction we were standing.Both the Python and us ran in the same direction ,we worried that the snake was chasing us and the poor Python trying to get away with whatever life was remaining in it... ..My kids always enjoy the story about how mom was chased by a snake .
Now to the Duck recipe.

If you like duck you know it tastes better when it gets a chance to cook in its own fat.

  1. Duck - 1/2 of 1 duck or approx 2 pounds cut into small pieces with some skin attached.
  2. Red Onion - 1 big sliced thin
  3. Ginger - 1 inch piece chopped fine
  4. Garlic - 1 pod chopped
  5. Green chillies - 5 slit
  6. Curry leaves - 5 springs
  7. Chilly powder - 1 heaped Tbsp
  8. Coriander powder- 2 tbsp
  9. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  10. finely crushed black pepper - 1 tsp
  11. Meat masala - 1 tsp (cardamom,cloves,cinnamon,fennel)
  12. Oil - 1 tbsp
  13. Vinegar - 2 tbsp
  14. Oil - to taste
Heat oil in a pan and add the the onion , ginger and garlic and saute until soft.
Add in the crushed meat masala and half of the curry leaves and saute for 2 minutes.
Add in the chilly,coriander,turmeric ,pepper powder, salt and vinegar and saute until the raw smell is gone.
Add in the duck pieces and mic well.
Cover and cook on medium flame until the duck is cooked (about 45 minutes)
The duck would have given out some fat and you can cook it in an open pan for 15 minutes until it is browned.Add the rest of the curry leaves and the slit chillies 5 minutes before turning the flame off.
This curry tastes better the next day.It becomes more brown when reheated.


  1. Entammooooo tharavuuuu..My all time fav...Ithu kandittu muzhuvan thinnu theerkan thonunne....Kurachu kappyum koodi kittumooo...

  2. Beautiful write-up for a beautiful recipe.I don't eat duck..but can use this recipe for chicken/mutton. Wishing you snd ur family a happy,healthy and fun filled 2010.

  3. Hi Priya
    Tried your Duck Piralan recipe. This is the first time I am cooking Duck and I totally loved it. It was much appreciated at home.

    Anisha Kuruvilla


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