Mussaman Duck Curry



This wonderfully rich spicy Thai curry is made with duck, but is also really good with lamb, chicken or beef.


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

5 tablespoons mussaman curry paste (see below)

2 bay leaves

4 duck breasts – skin removed, cut into bite-size pieces

6 shallots, peeled and cut into quarters, lengthways

1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk

1 yellow pepper, cut into pieces

1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoons palm or soft brown sugar

1 teaspoons tamarind paste/puree

200ml water or beef stock

500g peeled red potatoes, cut into 2-3cm cubes, cooked until almost tender

100g roasted salted peanuts


to serve

chopped roasted salted peanuts

Thai Fragrant/Jasmine Rice


Heat a wok or saucepan with the oil and then add mussaman paste and bay leaves. Fry until the paste is bubbling for about 30 seconds.


Add the duck and shallots, stirring for about 1 minute. Reduce the heat and add the coconut milk, yellow pepper, fish sauce, palm sugar (or soft brown sugar), tamarind and water or stock. Bring to the simmer and leave to cook for about 20 minutes.


Add the potatoes and peanuts and cook for a further 10 minutes until the sauce is nicely thickened.


Serve the curry straight away with peanuts scattered over the top, and with plenty of steaming hot rice.




Many large supermarkets, oriental or Indian shops sell Tamarind paste/puree. Barts Spices sell it in little jars which is easily available.


You can buy ready made mussaman paste in jars or packets but if you can’t get hold of any, or fancy making your own, here’s what you do…


Roughly chop 7 long red chillies and soak in 5 tbsp hot water for 1 hour.

Heat a frying pan and add 1/2 tsp white peppercorns, 1/2 cumin seeds, 1 tsp coriander seeds and 1 stick of cinnamon. Roast gently until they release a spicy aroma and begin to darken. Tip into a spice grinder, liquidiser or pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder. Add the chillies and the water, 150g chopped shallots, 6 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp chopped ginger, 1 tsp mild curry powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp shrimp paste or 3 tinned anchovies. Either blend or pound really well to give you smooth paste.

This will give you about 10 tbsp – enough for 2 of the above curries. Any leftover can be kept in the fridge for a few weeks.




Friday Night Curry

Hooray – it is Friday and the weekend is nearly here.

It has been a mad few weeks with one thing and another, including filming Roast Dinner recipes for ITV’s Daybreak http://www.itv.com/daybreak/lifestyle/theguide/theperfectroastdinner/ and traveling the country for a ITV’s 10 Mile Menu (out in the spring). I am now winding down and really looking forward to a relaxing weekend with my other half Phil (who is suffering a hangover today after a work Halloween party, ugh!) and our little ones, Olly and Rosa. I am planning a hearty casserole for Sunday but to get the weekend rolling I thought I would do this delicious curry tonight that is not only easy to make but actually contains all your 5 a day in one meal…can’t go wrong really.


Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, the recipe really is very easy to prepare.

Makes 2 generous and healthy portions

100g red lentils

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves of crushed garlic

2 green chillies, finely chopped

1 tsp peeled and grated root ginger

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into about 2cm cubes

1 red pepper, seeded and diced

large handful sultanas

¼ tsp turmeric

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground coriander

500ml hot vegetable stock

1 tbsp tomato puree

2 large ripe tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges

100g green beans, halved

1 tsp garam masala

small bunch coriander, chopped

Place the lentils in a bowl of cold water and leave to soak for about 3 minutes. Drain and keep to one side.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion, garlic, chillies and ginger for a few minutes until the onion is starting to soften. Add the carrots, sweet potato and red pepper. Fry for about 5 minutes before stirring in the sultanas, turmeric, cumin and coriander.

Cook for about 1 minute then add the drained lentils, hot stock, tomato puree and tomatoes. Stir well and cover with a lid.

Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Add the green beans and garam masala, then simmer with the lid off, for a further 10 minutes.

Season with a pinch of salt and serve as it is or condiments of your choice.


If you prefer a mild flavour the seeds can be removed from the chillies before chopping. Kept in and you will have a medium heat curry.

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