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Let's Cook: Trini Style Curry Duck

In Trinidad, duck is perhaps one of the most popular—if not the most—meats to be curried. This method flavors the oil with some whole spices prior to adding the seasoned duck.

Thanks for the recipe! The whole family loved it –Jennifer Morgan

The Caribbean region, including Trinidad and Tobago, is quite fond of curry duck.

Along with roti or rice, it is prepared with chunks of Muscovy duck, fresh Caribbean green seasoning, curry powder, and vegetables.

Curry duck is the most popular food prepared on a makeshift firepit when Trinis get together at the river or beach.

Let's Cook: Trini Curry Duck


For the Duck

  • 1 7-8 pound duck, cut into bite-sized pieces.

  • 6 tablespoons duck and goat curry. If you do not have this then use same amount of curry masala mixed with 1 tsp anchar masala.

  • 1 medium onion, chopped (save 1 tablespoon).

  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic, I use 1 head of garlic (save 1 tablespoon).

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped bhandania/Chadon Beni /culantro. If you are finely chopping it in a mini chopper, then use 1 cup. (save 1 tablespoon).

  • 4 medium-sized pimentos, chopped.

  • 2 tablespoons salt.

  • 1 tablespoon roasted ground geerah/cumin.

  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper. If you like it HOT like I do, then use 3 peppers.

  • 6 tablespoons coconut milk powder, Maggi brand by Nestle or any other brand will work.

  • Water.

For the chunkay-ing:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil. You can use whichever oil you prefer.

  • 1 tablespoon each of garlic, onion and bhandhania (saved from the above ingredients list).

  • 4 tablespoons curry powder, I use the Chief brand.

  • 1 teaspoon anchar masala, I use the Chief Brand.

  • 1 teaspoon whole geera/cumin.

  • 20 methi /fenugreek seeds.

  • 1/4 cup water.

Cooking Directions

The duck is prepared and seasoned:

The flesh from the duck should be cleaned and washed as desired. I often remove any remaining heavy fat and feathers, but I choose to leave most of the skin on since it gives your curry sauce a stronger flavor. Do what you are used to; everyone in Trinidad wants to have their duck prepared a specific manner.

Garlic, onion, bandanya, pimentos, curry, ground geerah, salt, and scotch bonnet pepper are used to season the duck. Oh! Don't forget to set aside the 1 tablespoon of bandanya, onion, and garlic.

Okay, let's chunkay

the duck now!

  • Firstly place the curry, anchar masala, remaining garlic, onion and bandanya in a bowl and set aside.

  • Place the pot on the stove, add the oil and allow to heat up. When hot, add the methi seeds; allow to darken to a rich brown color.

  • Once the seeds have darkened, add the whole geerah. These should start popping and smell fragrant. When they look golden brown, add the mixture of curry to the oil, together with the 1/4 cup water and stir constantly; add a little more water if you prefer.

  • Keep stirring until the mixture looks grainy. Add the seasoned duck and keep turning until it is coated. Add the coconut milk powder and continue mixing. Cover the pot and allow water to render.

Boojay-ing the duck

  • Keep turning the duck at 10-minute intervals. When the water has dried up, put the flame on low. Continue turning the duck every 5-10 minutes - this is the start of the boojaying step. You want it to start sticking; whenever it starts sticking (not burning!!), you have to turn it while scraping up all the good stuff that gets stuck onto the pot. Keep doing this for about 15-20 mins or when it starts to stick to the bottom of the pot in such a way that you are hearing a sizzling or frying sound and need to apply more strength to scrape the bottom of the pot.

  • At this point, it is ready for more water to be added. Also take note of the smell - this is usually what I use to know when the boojaying process has completed. This is where the most unique and intense flavour of the duck develops.

  • Add enough water to cover all the meat. Put the heat on medium and let this simmer until the sauce has thickened and has become about half of what it was or even less, depending on how you like your sauce. My husband likes plenty sauce, my mom likes a very little and I am somewhere in between. Remember to taste for salt and adjust as you like.

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