Recipe – DUCK ROAST (nadan tharavu roast)

Duck roast or tharavu roast is a classic traditional dish of Kerala. It is prepared on Christmas or Easter celebrations and is hugely enjoyed by everyone. Duck roast is one of the many dishes my mum-in-law cooks for Christmas annual lunch and we all devour every bite, forgetting the calories. There are many variations and one such variation I am sharing today.

prep time : 35 mins, cooking time : 50-55 mins, serves : 6, cuisine : kerala, author : gloria


1 kg duck with skin

2 cups sliced shallots

5-6 nos big garlic cloves (chopped/sliced)

2 inch ginger (chopped)

5-6 nos green chillies (chopped or slit)

1 cup boiling water

2 spring curry leaves

coconut oil

salt to taste

Spice powders:

1½ to 2 heaped tbsp coriander powder

1 tsp chilly powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp fennel powder

2 tsp pepper powder

1 ½ tsp garam masala (preferably home-made)

To marinate :

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ tsp crushed peppercorns

1 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp vinegar

1 tsp rock salt

To garnish (optional) :

1/2 cup fried onions (slice onion and deep fry in oil)

1/2 cup fried potatoes (slice potatoes, add turmeric, salt; deep-fry or shallow-fry in oil)


Cut the meat into medium pieces and clean nicely. Marinate duck pieces mentioned under ‘to marinate’ for 30 minutes. Reserve.

Heat coconut oil in a skillet; tip in shallots. When translucent and soft, add green chillies, ginger, garlic and continue to saute until the shallots turn golden brown in colour over medium heat.

Add the spice powders; stir fry on low heat constantly for a minute until fragrant and the raw smell leaves, without burning the spices.

Into this, add the marinated duck pieces, few curry leaves and boiling water. Mix to combine well; cover with a lid and cook on medium heat until it is 85-90% cooked*.

Now, take a wok, tip in oil and add few curry leaves. Fish out the duck pieces and deep fry both sides of the meat in batches for 2 mins. Keep aside.

Meanwhile, reduce the gravy* and thicken it; add the fried duck pieces, curry leaves. Simmer and stir to incorporate everything together as one single mass, masalas well coated to the meat and till a roasted texture is obtained. Adjust seasoning accordingly.

Finally, add a pinch of garam masala, pepper powder, a teaspoon of coconut oil, fried onions and fried potatoes. Allow it to sit at room temperature for few hours before serving.

Serve duck roast with rice, palappams or bread of your choice.

My observations/notes:

  • it can be made slightly wet or dry.

  • shallots can be replaced with 3 nos onions


22 thoughts on “Recipe – DUCK ROAST (nadan tharavu roast)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s