Duck Mappas – Have You Tried This Flavourful Dish From Central Kerala?

Mar18,2024


It’s 2 pm in the afternoon, and I’ve just entered one of the busiest dining spaces near Kochi. The luxury cars lined up in the parking might suggest a fine dining experience. But there’s no host or white glove service; there’s not even an electronic billing counter. I spot a cashier with a billing desk. This is not a desk that supports a computer but one where he keeps doodling entries with a piece of chalk. Once he runs out of space; it’s time for a clean slate. He wipes it all clean and starts again. This is Mullapanthal, an old-school Toddy shop; once an all-male preserve, toddy shops are the new hub for Instagrammers and families alike.
Also Read: 10 Local Dishes in Kerala That You Must Try

Toddy shops like Mullapanthal are not just attracting hordes of diners for their old-school appeal but also for their unique culinary offering. I was here to try the Duck Mappas, a quintessential signature dish from Central Kerala. This is a dish you’re likely to find at toddy shops around Kochi, Alappuzha and Kottayam. I don’t have to drive back to Kerala each time I want to try an authentic version though. I usually head back to Kappa Chakka Kandhari (KCK),  in Bengaluru or Chennai where they recreate the original. Chef Regi Mathew is passionate about Kerala cuisine and quite a few dishes on the KCK menu are from this region of Kerala.

Farm-to-fork might be one of the big dining trends that emerged over the past decade or so. Toddy shops in Kerala have always worked on this principle. All ingredients are sourced locally. Printed menus are almost unheard of. The cooks work whatever they can find at the local market on any given day. The Kuttanad region in Kerala is well known for its ducks, one reason why this dish is given at many toddy shops in this region. The Duck Mappas is served in many Christian homes in the region during Easter and Christmas. There’s one theory that the dish might have taken its name from the Portuguese word for Pappas (potatoes), some recipes feature potato along with duck. The Duck Mappas is a fine example of slow cooking and is simmered in a delicious coriander and coconut milk gravy. It’s paired with a vattayappam at KCK but it also tastes equally good with appam. You can try Chef Regi’s recipe at home.
Also Read: Kerala Egg Roast, Kerala Fish Fry And More: 7 Lip-Smacking Non-Vegetarian Kerala Recipes

Duck Mappas

Duck Mappas is a gem from Kerala cuisine.
Photo Credit: Ashwin Rajagopalan

How To Make Duck Mappas I Duck Mappas Recipe

Recipe courtesy – Chef Regi Mathew, Culinary director & co-owner Kappa Chakka Kandhari

Ingredients:   

Duck (Curry cut): 800gms

Coconut oil: 50ml

Ginger (Julienne): 30gms

Garlic (Chopped): 30gms

Green chilly (Slit): 30gms

Curry leaves: 05gms

Onion (Sliced): 150gms

Turmeric powder: 02gms

Coriander powder: 20gms

Garam masala powder: 02gms

Black pepper powder: 04gms

Coconut milk 1: 250ml

Coconut milk 2: 01ltr

For the Tempering:        

Coconut oil: 30ml

Shallots (sliced): 40gms

Curry leaves: 02gms

Method:

  • First heat the oil. Add ginger, garlic and green chilli. Saute.
  • Add the onion and curry leaves. Keep stirring till the onion turns translucent
  • Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and black pepper powder.
  • Let it simmer and let the masala cook.
  • Add the Duck and mix well with the masala.
  • Pour in the Rendam paal (This translates from Malayalam to the thinner, second-press coconut milk) or the ‘second. coconut milk and allow the duck to cook in it on a slow fire.
  • Now add the Onnam paal (This translates from Malayalam to the thicker, first press coconut milk) or the ‘first’ coconut milk and remove from the stove.
  • Temper the shallots and curry leaves and then pour it on top of the duck
  • Sprinkle a little black pepper powder for garnish.
  • Serve hot with steamed Vattayappam.

About Ashwin RajagopalanI am the proverbial slashie – a content architect, writer, speaker and cultural intelligence coach. School lunch boxes are usually the beginning of our culinary discoveries.That curiosity hasn’t waned. It’s only got stronger as I’ve explored culinary cultures, street food and fine dining restaurants across the world. I’ve discovered cultures and destinations through culinary motifs. I am equally passionate about writing on consumer tech and travel.

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