Try this Thai-style coconut and papaya curry with loads of flavour for a spicy and hearty meal any day of the week.


  • 30ml vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 3cm chunk ginger, peeled and chopped

  • 1 green chilli, chopped

  • Ground spice mix

  • 1 tbsp ground coriander

  • 1 tsp cayenne

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1 can chopped plum tomatoes

  • 100g fresh, shredded coconut

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 tsp lump of palm sugar

  • ½ papaya, chopped

  • Whole spice mix

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 cardamom pods

  • 1 small cinnamon stick

  • 1 ts cumin seeds

  • ½ tsp fennel seeds

  • 5 curry leaves

  • 2 duck breasts

  • To finish

  • ½ papaya, diced

  • 1 lime

  • 1 tsp chopped coriander

  • 25g roasted cashew nuts

  • White rice, to serve


  • 1.

    Heat the oil in a wok or deep pan over a moderate-high heat. Place the onions and garlic in the pan and allow them to cook for a couple of minutes until the onion is soft. Add the ginger, chillies and ground spice mixture, cook for a further minute stirring it regularly with a wooden spoon. Finally add the chopped tomatoes, coconut, salt, sugar, and whole spice mixture, reduce the heat to moderate and leave it to simmer until reduced by 1/2 (around 15-20 minutes), stirring it regularly so that the base doesn't burn.

  • 2.

    When the sauce has reduced by half add the duck breasts to the pan and cook them for a further 6-8 minutes. If the sauce becomes to thick add a little water. Remove the breast from the sauce and keep them in a warm place while you finish the sauce.

  • 3.

    Stir the papaya, cashews, lime juice and coriander into the sauce, so that it is well distributed. Taste the sauce and add a little more salt, limejuice or sugar if desired.

  • 4.

    To serve: Slice each duck breast into 5-6 slices. Add the duck to the hot sauce and serve with diced papaya and your choice of rice, chapatti bread or poppadoms (optional) and your choice of accompaniments.

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