In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

The Ultimate Island Curry Duck.

trinidad curry duck recipe 11Yup! there’s a new addition to the “ultimate” family [ Ultimate Curry Chicken | Ultimate Stew Chicken | Ultimate Curry Goat ]. But I must take a moment to say special thanks for all the wonderful emails, Facebook messages and comments I received yesterday, for my birthday (real love shown). Curry duck wasn’t something we had too often at home when we were growing up on the islands. However I do remember whenever my mom’s aunt would make this with dhalpourie and curry potatoes she would always call me to come over to enjoy a plate. Well she didn’t really call me (no phones back in those days), but she would yell out her kitchen window for me to come over. Golden days!

* Please bear in mind that everyone prepares this a bit different depending on where on the islands you go, so your recipe may be a bit different. However, you’ll be very pleased with the results you get from the recipe below.


You’ll need…

6-7 lbs of Duck (trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces)
1 lime or lemon
1 medium tomato – sliced
1 onion – sliced
1 hot pepper (habanero or scotch bonnet) – sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground geera (cumin)
1/2 teaspoon amchar masala
3/4 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon green seasoning mix
4 cloves garlic – crushed
dash black pepper
4 shado beni leaves
2 cups water

* if you’re concerned about the heat form the pepper, don’t add any of the seeds.

* if you can’t get shado beni, use about 6 tablespoons of cilantro (chopped)

For cooking the curry…

* My choice for curry powder has always been the “Raja Jahan Special Madras Curry” which you can easily get at any Caribbean food store if you live outside Trinidad and Tobago or online at Amazon.com.

2-3 tablespoon curry powder (depends how strong you like your curry)
3 tablespoon oil
1/4 onion (sliced thin)
1/4 cup water

For this recipe you need (if you live outside the islands) to source a Caribbean style duck and those are readily available at most Caribbean specialty stores in north America and the UK. In the past I used the normal ducks you find in the frozen section at the major grocery stores here in North America, but I find that though they taste great, it’s really not the same. Additionally, when I go to the Caribbean markets, I ask them if they can cut the duck into pieces for me. Since the duck bones can be very hard and brittle. If you try cutting it up at home you risk 2 things. 1. You can do some serious damage to your knife and 2. you may find that you won’t get a clean cut and you be left with jagged bones and bone fragments that can cause some problems when eating. They (the Caribbean markets) usually have a band saw they use, that cuts evenly and clean through. They also roast the outside of the duck (place briefly over an open flame) to remove any tiny feathers the plucking process didn’t remove (some claim that this process also adds a certain flavour to the dish).

Now that we have our duck cut into 1-2 inch pieces, place in a large bowl and squeeze the lime or lemon over it. Then pour some water (not mentioned in the ingredients list) and wash the meat. This is where I usually remove all the fat and skin that I can (some people love the skin, but that’s just not my thing). Rinse with clean water and drain. Then season the meat with everything in the ingredients list mentioned above, except the 2 cups of water (not the “for cooking the curry”). For best results I see my mom marinate this overnight in the fridge, however if you’re in a rush 1-2 hours should suffice

trinidad curry duck

Since this is such a rich curry dish I prefer to cook this outdoors on the side burner of my BBQ. In a heavy pot (one with a lid) heat the oil on high heat. Then add the curry powder to a small bowl and add the 1/4 cup of water to make a runny paste. The oil should be smoking by now so go ahead and add the 1/4 sliced onion and stir. Followed by the curry mixture we just made. Turn down the heat and allow this to cook for about 5 minutes or so, or until it comes to a thick paste and starts sticking to the bottom of the pot.

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Turn the heat back up to a medium/high and start adding the seasoned duck to the pot. Be sure to stir around so everything gets incorporated with the curry. Then bring to a boil, turn back down the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and allow to cook for about 35 minutes. it will spring up it’s own natural juices.

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After about 35 minutes, it’s time to burn off all the liquid that formed, so turn up the heat. Pay close attention and stir often to avoid burning/sticking. When all the liquid is gone, add the 2 cups of water and bring back up to a boil.. then turn back down to a gentle simmer and cover. Allow this to cook for another 35 minutes or so or until the meat is tender. The sauce should be thick by now as well. If you find that it’s runny, turn up the heat (providing it’s tender) and get it to the right thickness you want. Also check for salt at this point, as you will have a different tolerance for salt than I do.

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Here’s the finished dish with “buss up shut” roti and curry potatoes. Be sure to leave me your comments below and do let me know if you’d like the recipe for the buss up shut and/or curry potato (BTW it’s also posted on the site)

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38 Comments

  1. Rita
    October 10, 2018 / 2:50 am

    Thank you so much for your recepies, some of them are favorit in this household!
    Keep up the good work and do not bother with this thing called Sarah, who has no skills in use of computers nor cooking Caribean food… 😉
    You are doing great! Love to you and your family

  2. Matjaz Planinc
    July 6, 2018 / 6:16 am

    I realy like this recepy even thou i am in sweden i can get it to be just like it did in Trinidad okay we dont have Magi tastemaker but we have the substitite witch is almost the same. They say in Trinidad that the best duck is coocked by the rivier with river water for example cora river in north. Dont worry about smal minded people that have nothing better to do than complain about other’s recipys. Keep upp the good works ! You are doing a good job explaining.
    Best regards
    Matt

  3. Shaun
    February 11, 2018 / 12:06 am

    has anyone tried the recipe

  4. Izak
    December 26, 2017 / 8:22 am

    Chris i live in South Africa and i cannot always get the same ingredients you use. I dont make a sean about it because i have the common sence to look up the ingredients on the internet and find a substitute or i notice that pictorially we might have something similar and try that.
    I enjoy your recipes, so keep up the good work.
    Blessings

  5. D. Singh
    June 7, 2016 / 12:35 pm

    Hi Chris thanks for this recipe, it’s perfect! You’re doing a good job. I hope that you won’t mind me saying something here pertaining to Sarah’s comment.
    First of all, what is she doing here on this site if it doesn’t benefit her. Secondly, she has NO RIGHT whatsoever to used any obscene languages; it shows that she has NO RESPECT for users on this site and especially for you Chris; you’re helping so many of us every single day. I must say although I’m a good cook, I’m still learning couple things from you; NO ONE KNOWS IT ALL!
    I do agree with you 100% that you shouldn’t have responded to Sarah’s comment; why put the effort to respond to unmannerly people. I’d like it very much if she reads my comment and mend her bad attitude and also learn to be respectful to others, especially to all the folks who’re teaching us something important to better our lives.
    Ok Chris you keep the recipes coming and God bless you and your family.

  6. Sarah
    March 15, 2016 / 8:50 am

    I get more and more pissed off with the elitism “For this recipe you need (if you live outside the islands) to source a Caribbean style duck and those are readily available at most Caribbean specialty stores in north America and the UK. In the past I used the normal ducks you find in the frozen section at the major grocery stores here in North America, but I find that though they taste great, it’s really not the same.”
    Yeah thanks again for rubbing it in – I live in Northern Europe and have no access to a “Caribbean Market” nor can I get the stuff at Amazon, because in Europe, one can only order at Amazon Europe, not USA or UK.
    So thanks Chris, for only publishing receipes for Americans, English or Caribbean People, everybody else who wants to cook after your receipes is fucked, because one does not get the ingredients needed and you do not supply alternatives.

    • admin
      March 16, 2016 / 11:30 am

      Poor you.. do I live in Other regions? How would I know whats available? This is for the MOST part a CARIBBEAN website and I will stick to MY roots. Do you go to an Italian, Thai, Dutch, Swedish, Japanese (you get my point) website and complain that they don’t provide you with ingredients you can source? With over 1 million uses a month and 1 ignorant complain.. not even sure why I bothered to respond.

    • Sophia
      May 17, 2020 / 1:45 pm

      Why are you so upset, this makes no sense that you’re taking your frustrations out on this man for providing an authentic trinidadian recipe. It’s funny how people cannot handle different point of views. I live in NY in the USA but I can’t get a caribbean style duck here either, just local farm ducks or from our supermarkets and that’s what we will use tonight and thank God that he has provided for us. Make the best of your situation. It’s sad to see you trying to put someone else down because of your frustrations.

      And if you can’t get a “caribbean style duck” where you live, why does it even matter to you—you won’t know the difference when you follow this recipe of how it should’ve tasted more like. His recipe is so on point with the flavor that it will still taste very good.

  7. Shirma
    September 9, 2015 / 2:17 pm

    I always love a good curry duck, have not been able to get it right so I will try your recipe Chris.

  8. Jan
    July 19, 2015 / 9:21 am

    Could never get it right, so never cooked it. I used your recipe and my husband loved it. Asked me not to change a thing about it. Thanks

  9. Gabriela Reyes
    June 21, 2015 / 12:19 pm

    I love this recipe….this is exactly the type of curry duck I love….I just added a teaspoon of saffron and a teaspoon of normal curry (for chicken) to get the desired colour and taste …Thank you 🙂

  10. Dennis M Sankar
    April 17, 2015 / 4:54 pm

    Gotta try this one ! Sounds good.

  11. Sharon-Ann O
    September 19, 2013 / 8:54 am

    I was researching Jambalaya when I came across this recipe. Go figure, anyway, of course this is what I want to cook instead. My only problem is finding the Muscovy duck but I’m not discouraged. Please continue your step by step method of instruction because not all cooks are created equal. I still learn so much from you and these steps even though I’ve been cooking for so many years. I never noticed the difference between the curries (Madras vs regular) until you pointed it out. Keep those recipes coming and those of us out there drooling. Thank you.

  12. Joanne
    April 28, 2013 / 8:05 pm

    Chris, I am an excellent cook also. I have lived in Trinidad and also in Tobago and my mother is Vincentian but I have to say that the plate you put out does look very appetizing.

  13. shanti
    April 18, 2013 / 4:30 pm

    try putting some coconut milk in this dish……..checking out your recipe for paratha

    • Gabriela Reyes
      June 21, 2015 / 12:27 pm

      yes I put coconut milk wen I’m supposed to add 2 cups of water and half of a carib beer ( you can add scotch instead of beer)…it makes the meat so much softer …

  14. Yasmin
    September 25, 2012 / 11:33 am

    I can't wait to try making duck curry, love it

  15. kelly
    December 22, 2011 / 5:45 pm

    i really want to try this curry duck recipe, but i like how that buss up shut looking too , please people i need the recipe and the know how, i,m new to the site but i am absolutely loving it. told my husband when we build our house next year i want a computer in my kitchen so i could just come online and get my recipes thank you.

  16. Rakesh
    November 6, 2011 / 10:07 am

    yes a duck from trinidad will deff taste different from canada.

  17. Sharleen
    October 6, 2011 / 5:48 am

    Are there different types of duck Chris?
    Would a duck from Trinidad taste different as opposed to a duck from Canada?

  18. Ezequiel
    May 8, 2011 / 9:37 am

    I am so excited to prepare that dish!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where can i buy a pot just like yours with the metal knob on the lid? Is there a place in Toronto or near by?

    • Niala
      February 5, 2013 / 4:56 pm

      I have seen now seen the pots at Walmarts in the GTA, I know for certain there have them at the Walmart at Scarborough Town Centre Location, and if you look around at the West Indian grocery shops.

  19. Chevy
    January 4, 2011 / 2:11 pm

    Hello, I discovered your site this morning and have spent the past 2 hours on the couch salivating over all the delicious food. I'm a Trini living in Boston, hard to get good buss up shot here. I've scoured your site for the recipe, but can't find it. Can you please post the link?
    p.s -Thanks to you, I'm planning to cook coo-coo and callalloo with fried fish for dinner tonight

    • praim
      May 11, 2011 / 11:14 am

      chevy just type trinidad roti in your search engine and the recipe will come up any thing you want t learn to cook just ype it and it comes up

  20. Peaches
    October 27, 2010 / 2:43 pm

    I am a Trinidadian by birth thank GOD living off-island most of my life, i saw a lot of recipes my grand-mom used to make which i forgot. So i were wondering if you have a rabbit recipes, i remember she used to cook it but i can't remember how. I LOVE THIS SITE. MY GRAND-MOM IS SMILING IN HEAVEN I AM COOKING.

  21. LEO PHILLIP
    September 1, 2010 / 8:02 am

    chris, you are the man. i really have to say thanks a million to you. it's because of you I am again the best cook in ATLANTA GA..thanks for taking the time to send me the recipes. i know you don't have too so THANKS A MILLION..I DO APPRECIATE IT. I LOVE THE RECIPES..I ABSOLUTELY DO !!!

  22. aarti
    August 7, 2010 / 11:21 am

    Hi, this is a wonderful thing you're doing!! Please keep it up. Just wanted to find out though, I always thought washing duck/goat with lime would toughen the meat and make it harder to cook soft. We at home always wash it with flour. My dad also adds a slice of green paw paw after the meat is chunkayed to make it soft and tender. Have you ever heard that (abt the lime) or know of anyone using green paw paw?

  23. Rey
    July 7, 2010 / 8:30 pm

    omg, soo good… wow, thanks for posting… please post more Guyanese recipes!!!

  24. Grace(Lovie)
    June 1, 2010 / 8:57 pm

    Happy, Happy Birthday, My Love, an Many Many More!!!!!!! xoxox U r the best…

  25. May 26, 2010 / 1:35 pm

    Goodness gracious! Your curry duck makes me want to jump through the screen and woof down that plate of food! I enjoy any kind of curry, but this one looks phenomenal as I am a sucker for duck meat. Your photographs of the food are mouth watering! Thanks for sharing!

    • June 17, 2010 / 2:42 am

      thank you so much for your kind words.

  26. Jean
    May 20, 2010 / 11:28 pm

    I ready for the river lime!!

  27. May 19, 2010 / 9:08 pm

    Oh my heart be still! You cooked duck curry! I want some!

    • June 17, 2010 / 2:42 am

      i'll fedex some down for you 🙂

  28. Fred
    May 19, 2010 / 4:47 pm

    the only thing missing is the beach 🙂

    • jumbieg
      June 16, 2010 / 9:40 pm

      I have to agree.

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