Contest Winner: Elizabeth's Duck Curry 

January's recipe contest winner is Alina Celine Lancy. She writes that this duck curry recipe belonged to her great-grandmother, who often cooked it for her grand children as they 'swarmed around the table like bees.' It makes for a great addition to any festive spread, with a bold burst of pepper that tickles your tastebuds from the very first bite. 

Recipe contest:  Traditional Kerala duck curry

1 kg duck, skinned and cut into medium sized pieces
1/2 kg shallots, peeled and sliced into crescents
250 g onions, peeled and sliced into crescents
10 nos. cloves
3 sticks cinnamon, 1 inch each
1 1/2 tbsp cumin
1 piece ginger, peeled
12 nos garlic, peeled
4 nos. cardamom pods
2 tbsp black peppercorns
5 green chillies, slit open
2 to 3 sprigs curry leaves
Coconut oil
Salt, to taste

Grind ginger and garlic together to a paste.
In a heavy bottomed pan , heat 5 tbsp of coconut oil and add the ginger-garlic paste.
Now add 250 g of shallots and saute till it browns.
Grind together black peppercorns , cloves and cinnamon. Add the ground spices to the browned shallots.
To this, add the pieces of duck and mix well until the spicy masala coats the meat completely.
Transfer the duck to a pressure cooker , add slit chillies and salt (as required) and cook for 10 minutes. Retain the cooking juices.
Then, shallow fry the duck. 
In another heavy bottomed pan , heat 5 tbsp of coconut oil.
Add 250 g of shallots and 250 g of onions. Saute them well until they turn brown. Grind together cumin and cardamom pods . Add them once the shallots and onions are well sauted.
Now add the shallow fried duck and pour the cooking juices from the cooker.
Stir well, cover and cook for a few minutes.
Garnish with  sprigs of curry leaves. In no time a mouth-watering scent would emanate from the  kitchen and would pull you by the nose towards it like a magnet.
Serve it hot with appam, idiyappam or even boiled rice. 

Recipe contest:  Traditional Kerala duck curry