This recipe looks like it has a lot of ingredients, but most are for the curry paste. The garnishes can be left off if unavailable, also the duck pieces could be deep fried in a deep fat fryer if you do not have a wok.

Even though there are a couple of steps they are quite simple and this is a delicious curry and a great use of duck legs.

This recipe is by the Australian Chef Ben O'Donoghue, From the book 'At Home with Ben'


6 duck legs, cut in half to make a thigh and a drumstick
1 Star Anise
2 cinnamon sticks
2 Spring onions

1 Stem of Lemongrass

4 potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 cups sunflower oil

4 dried long red chillies

1 cup basil to garnish

2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced, to garnish (These are available frozen from Oriental shops)

1/2 cup crispy fried shallots, to garnish ( These can also be bought in tubs ready made from Oriental shops)

1/4 cup fried garlic, to garnish

Spice Paste:

1 tbsp black peppercorns

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 mace blade

4 cloves garlic

5 long red chillies ( or to taste)

5 shallots

3cm galangal (available in Oriental shops or use ginger if not available)

2 stems lemongrass

5 coriander roots (I use finely chopped stems if roots not available)

1 cup coconut cream

100g palm sugar

100 ml fish sauce


Place duck legs in a large bamboo steamer. Place star anise, cinnamon stick, spring onion and lemongrass in steaming water underneath the bamboo steamer. Steam for 1 hour, until duck is tender, top up liquid if necessary.  Add potatoes to steamer after 40 minutes.

When duck is cooked, remove from steamer. Reserve steaming liquid and potatoes.

To make spice paste, grind all ingredients, adding one at a time, except coconut cream, palm sugar and fish sauce until combined.

Heat coconut cream in a large frying pan over high heat, boil until it separates into an oil, add spice paste and fry until fragrant, add a little of the steaming liquid to make a medium-thick sauce.  Adjust seasoning using palm sugar and fish sauce.

​The curry should have a sweet-salty flavour. Set to one side.

Heat sunflower oil in a wok and deep fry dried chillies for about 5 seconds, or until aromatic. Drain and set aside. Add duck pieces and fry for about 5 minutes or until crisp and golden.

Place fried duck in curry sauce along with steamed potatoes and bring back to the boil.

Serve duck curry garnished with basil and finely sliced lime leaves.  Sprinkle over crispy shallots, garlic and fried dried chillies.

​ Aromatic Duck Curry