Curry duck is surely one of our corner stone dishes here in Trinidad and Tobago, especially when we’re hanging out with friends and family. Gracing many a pot, be it by the beach or by the river, you’re sure to find curry duck bubbling on a three stone fireside…..
That writing sounds like a real tourism advertisement don’t you think? OK, here’s the real low down on a good Trini Curry Duck…..
Curry Duck: The Ultimate Lime Experience
Before we even venture to talking I feel I must say a little about the culture that surrounds this and many of our traditional meals……Cooking a curry duck by the river is the ultimate lime experience here in Trinidad and Tobago, at least to me. See if you can picture this: the curry duck bubbling on the fire; children playing in the river water, cool and inviting; some chutney or chutney soca music blasting from a car and of course alcohol flowing like water…. I could almost smell that pot of curry duck now Are you?
You may be wondering why curry duck? In this setting the curry duck, although usually served with buss up shut, is used as “cutters” by the men who are drinking alcohol. The spicy curry duck is believed to “cut” the buzz and prolong the drinking of even more alcohol. “Rum till I die lol”
This and many other cooking traditions has been so interwoven into the fabric of our society that it is Trini to the core. Can you imagine what the dishes would be made around Christmas time, Lent, or even carnival? This is what I’m getting at. The food served at different times or events are part and parcel of who we are as Trinbagonians.
How about this description? Tell me if you can imagine it.
It is Friday evening and you’ve finished working and on your way home to Chaguanas. Before you take the green band maxi taxi to Chaguanas from Curepe you decide to have a little snack….The only thought on your mind now is a piping hot “Sauce Doubles” and you’re in luck. The crowd is still not so thick, so you could try to get a doubles or two before the real rush starts.
“Gimme two doubles, slight pepper with everything”, you blurt out and in no time quick hands place two bara on a piece of wax paper with the spoon in the right hand deftly working the different condiments with just enough of the spoon dipped into the pepper in passing to make it just right; not too hot just a bit of what I call “cool burn”. In one twisting movement of the hands the doubles is wrapped and placed in a brown paper bag for the “checker” who add some napkins and gives you change for ah twenty….all this happens in less than 10 seconds. Next order!…….
It’s an art I tell you. It is part of us. So, in keeping with our favourite cooking traditions I present to you curry duck …..Just curry duck alone though minus the river, fireside and a car blasting “Mousie” and “Jho Jho” lol!!
Curry Duck Recipe
Ingredients for seasoning
3 lbs duck, chopped
3 tbsp curry, (chief brand duck and goat curry – see pic)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp amchar masala
4 tbsp green seasoning
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
Ingredients to cook
6 pimento peppers, chopped
1 hot pepper
1/2 onion, sliced
6 methi seeds (fenugreek)
1 tbsp curry
1/2 tbsp saffron (Turmeric)
1 tbsp amchar masala, divided
water for curry mixture + water for cooking
1 hot pepper
2 cups coconut milk
2 tbsp oil
…curry and masala,
hot pepper sauce and green seasoning.
Then add the seasoned duck.
Add a little water and let simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes or until tender.
Within the first 20 minutes of cooking add the coconut milk and hot pepper.
About 10 minutes before the duck is done and a bit tender add the 6 pimento peppers…
and remaining 1/2 tbsp masala.
Let it dry down a bit ( Bonje). You could leave a bit of water for sauce.
I can’t provide you with a car blasting some stinging chutney music but I could sure hit you with a video while you enjoy your curry duck lol!! Here’s “Mousie” and “Jho Jho”. Enjoy!