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



In my previous post of sauteed drumstick leaves (diabetic friendly recipe), I have mentioned the importance of drumstick leaves and its health benefits. Today, am sharing a very simple and delicious kerala style – drumstick leaves with tomato curry. Select tender leaves and do not overcook. Goes well with any type of rice.

Healthy and delicious drumstick leaves tomato curry; a great accompaniment with hot steamed rice.

prep time : 20 mins, cooking time : 15 mins, serves : 2-4, cuisine : kerala, author : gloria


1 cup drumstick leaves

3-4 green chillies (chopped)

¼ tsp black mustard seeds

1 dry red chilly

8 nos asian shallots or 4-5 nos European shallots (sliced)

1 large tomato (sliced)

½ tsp ground turmeric

less than ½ cup water

salt to taste

coconut oil

To ground together into a smooth paste* :

200 gms grated coconut

½ tsp cumin seeds

2 curry leaves

2 green chillies


Pluck the leaves from the stem and wash nicely thrice. Drain and squeeze out liquid; keep aside.

Take a pan and into a preheated oil, add dry red chilly (whole or broken in half) and mustard seeds; stir for few seconds.

Add the sliced shallots and green chillies; saute till it turns golden brown in colour. Tip in turmeric powder and give a stir.

Now, add the drumstick leaves and constantly fry till the water is completely evaporated.

Add the sliced tomato and the smooth paste*. Mix to incorporate everything together.

Into this, add water and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Season to taste.

Serve it with hot steamed rice.

My observations/notes :

– do not add too much water.