This is a speciality of the Tai Ahom community of Upper Assam. Duck meat is special for them and they cook it particularly for important guests. Once while I was visiting a Tai Ahom family in Namru village, I was challenged to a fun cook-off, where duck was the mandatory ingredient. The family cooked a duck curry with ash gourd, while I made this curry. My duck with potatoes was declared winner by popular (friends and family, really) vote.

  • Serves


  • Cook Time



  • ½ kg duck meat, cleaned and washed
  • 6 tbsp mustard oil
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp cumin and black pepper paste (in 1:1 ratio)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 4 onions, chopped
  • 4 green chillies
  • 4 dry red chillies
  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. In a bowl, marinate the duck with garlic and ginger paste, turmeric powder, cumin and black pepper paste, along with a tablespoon of mustard oil.
  2. Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks.
  3. Heat remaining oil in a kadhai. Add bay leaves, green and dry red chillies.
  4. Toss in the chopped onions and fry until golden brown.
  5. Put in the marinated duck and continue frying for a few minutes.
  6. Throw in the potatoes and keep frying. After a few minute, add one cup of water.
  7. Cover and cook on medium heat, stirring from time to time, until the duck is tender.
  8. Remove from fire and serve hot with steamed rice.
Atul Lahkar

Atul Lahkar

Atul Lahkar is a celebrated television chef and culinary consultant from Assam. But his most important culinary contribution is his relentless effort to rediscover the food of his native land. He is dedicated to unearthing lost recipes, rediscovering cooking techniques and equipment, and bringing back indigenous produce that have been subsumed by the onslaught of modernisation.

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