Every Christmas my family got together at my grandmother Ammini’s home in Cochin, regardless of where we were based. After an entire morning spent opening gifts, we would relish the incredible festive spread together. She would cook a variety of our favourite dishes. The dining table would be loaded with all kinds of meat and seafood. My favourite of these dishes was her Duck and Potato Curry cooked with shallots, green chilli, vinegar and lots of black pepper. Rich and unctuous, and almost a luxury (duck is expensive!), this dish was reserved for special occasions and we would always look forward to it. At The Bombay Canteen, we do a slightly refined version of it. The flavour of the curry is still reminiscent of the original dish, but we serve it as a boneless duck leg curry with a beautifully pan-seared breast, which is served with a side of egg appams to mop up the curry.

  • Serves


  • Cook Time



  • 1 duck (approx. 1.5 kg), cut into smaller pieces
  • 2-3 potatoes, cut into large dice-sized quarters, boiled
  • 2-3 green chillies, slit
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups onions, thickly sliced
  • ½ cup shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1.5 tbsp black peppercorn powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • Vinegar to taste
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a large pot, heat coconut oil.
  2. Add the sliced shallots and fry until brown.
  3. Stir in the ground spices and sauté on low heat until the masala is cooked.
  4. Toss in the onion slices, ginger and slit green chillies and sauté until translucent.
  5. Add the coconut milk, followed by the duck pieces, vinegar and salt, and let it simmer.
  6. When almost done, add the potatoes and adjust seasoning with salt.

Thomas Zacharias

Thomas Zacharias

An alumnus of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Thomas Zacharias worked at the celebrated New York three-star Michelin restaurant La Bernardin under Chef Eric Ripert before returning to India. He first helmed the kitchen at Olive Bar and Kitchen in Bandra, Mumbai, then became the Executive Chef at The Bombay Canteen. Currently Chef-Partner at The Bombay Canteen, Zacharias’ food philosophy involves showcasing regional Indian cuisines in a contemporary avatar, celebrating local and seasonal ingredients, and creating memorable food experiences around Indian cuisine. He travels extensively around the country to explore regional cuisines.

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