Tharavu Roast/ Nadan Duck Roast/ Duck Pepper Fry

Tharavu Roast / Kerala Duck Roast is a popular Christian traditional dish enjoyed during Easter and Christmas in Kerala. Festive lunch in Kerala Christian homes are considered incomplete without special Duck Roast. Unlike the roast duck, where the whole duck is roasted with herbs and spices, this succulent Duck/ Tharavu Roast is prepared with a spicy gravy, rich in flavours and fried to perfection. In Kerala, you will find a variety of duck dishes. Kuttanad region is quite famous for Duck Mappas and Nadan Tharavu Roast or Tharavu Puralan with little gravy. In Kottayam region, duck is cooked with more pepper in a spicy gravy and is fried along with onions and potatoes.

Kottayam style Duck Roast/ Nadan Tharavu Roast is my special recipe for you, this season. You will definitely love the vibrant taste and mouthwatering combo of fried duck and potatoes. Please do check the Kuttanadan Tharavu roast or Duck Mappas if you like it semi- gravy/ gravy style. This Christmas, we prepared this special Tharavu Roast, and everyone relished the deliciously flavoured duck fry! Since there were many other dishes, we had some leftover duck pieces and had it for dinner. By then, the meat was filled with all flavours, and it tasted just divine!  Kottayam style Duck Fry/ Tharavu roast needs to be set aside for few hours to enhance the flavours, so that every bite of the dark meat swamps you with exotic tastes. Pepper is the main spice in this recipe, like Pork Pepper Fry and Kerala style Beef pepper fry.

Hope you all enjoyed my Christmas special dishes like Roast Chicken, Special Fish Molee, Mutton Stew, Kottayam Fish curry, Beef Pepper fryVeal stew, Beef Ularthiyathu, Mutton Liver Fry, special chicken dishes like Kashmiri Chicken curry, Peshawari chicken curry, Ginger chicken, Chettinad chicken curry, Prawns roast, Chicken dishes, Biriyani/ Rice varieties, Cakes, wine etc. Nothing gives more happiness than enjoying hearty meals with your loved ones. Family gettogethers makes the festive season more special, igniting treasured memories and strengthening the love for each other.

Nadan Tharavu Roast is best served with rice and veggies. It is not a very complicated dish as you might think; duck is pressure cooked with spices and herbs to induce the rich flavors and later shallow fried to make perfect Tharavu Pepper Roast. So, here is the much-awaited recipe for Kottayam style Nadan Tharavu Roast. Enjoy!!

Ingredients for Tharavu Roast:

Duck/ Tharavu: 1 kg
Onion: 2 nos.
Turmeric Powder: ½ tsp
Black Pepper (whole): 1 tbsp – 1 ½ tbsp.
Red Chili Powder: 1 ½ tbsp.
Perumjeerah/ Fennel seeds: ½ tsp
Cardamom: 4 nos.
Cinnamon: 2 pcs (2 inch)
Cloves: 5 pcs
Ginger: 2 inch piece
Garlic: 15 cloves
Green chili: 3 – 4 pcs
Tomatoes: 2 nos.
Curry Leaves: few
Vinegar: 2 tbsp
Salt: as required
Coconut oil: 2 tsp

Ingredients for frying:

Coconut oil: as required
Onions: 2 nos
Curry leaves: few
Potatoes: 2 nos
Carrot: 1 no.
Ghee: 1 tsp
Pepper Powder: ½ tsp
Garam Masala: ½ tsp


Clean and dry the duck pieces (with skin). Grind Onion, Tomatoes, Ginger, garlic, green chilli, Red Chilli Powder, Turmeric Powder, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom, Perumjeerah(Fennel), curry leaves and vinegar to make a grainy marinade. Marinate the duck pieces with salt and marinade, cover well and keep aside for 1 hour. Heat a pressure cooker, add 2 tsp Coconut oil and the marinated duck pieces and pressure cook for two whistles.

Tharavu Roast / Nadan Duck Roast /Duck Pepper Fry Tharavu Roast / Nadan Duck Roast /Duck Pepper Fry Tharavu Roast / Nadan Duck Roast /Duck Pepper Fry

Heat Coconut oil in a pan and fry the Potato and carrot, drain and keep aside. Next fry thinly sliced onions till golden brown and the curry leaves. Drain and keep aside for garnishing. Take out the duck pieces from the gravy. Now, shallow fry the Duck pieces till slightly brown on both sides. After frying all the duck pieces, remove excess oil if any.

Tharavu Roast / Nadan Duck Roast /Duck Pepper Fry Tharavu Roast / Nadan Duck Roast /Duck Pepper Fry

Pour 1 tsp ghee to the pan and add pepper powder and Garam masala. Add the gravy (remove extra fat if required) to the pan and let it simmer. Combine the fried duck pieces, half of the fired onions, potatoes and gravy. The gravy should coat the duck pieces.

Tharavu Roast / Nadan Duck Roast /Duck Pepper Fry Tharavu Roast / Nadan Duck Roast /Duck Pepper Fry

Cover and keep aside for some time to enhance the flavours. (More time, more flavours!). Warm slightly before serving, garnish with rest of the onions and potatoes and serve with rice, Appam or Bread.


  • Adjust the chilies and other spices according to your spice tolerance level.
  • Coconut oil should be used for the best flavours. Coconut oil gives the traditional authentic taste and is good for health.
  • While marinating make sure the duck is well covered.
  • Do not add water while cooking duck.
  • Pressure cook for just two whistles and wait till the entire pressure is released. Duck will be perfectly cooked after shallow frying.
  • Make sure you mix half of the fried onions, potatoes and carrots with the duck and gravy.
  • After mixing with the gravy, keep the Tharavu Roast covered in the pan for few hours to intensify the flavours. Just warm slightly before serving.
  • Garnish with the rest of the potatoes and onions while serving.
  • Tharavu Roast is best served with rice or Bread.
  • Follow this recipe for Tharavu Roast/ Duck Roast step by step to get the best results.

If you like this Tharavu Roast/ Duck Roast recipe, please share with your friends using the share buttons on the side or put in your comments. I will be happy to see your comments. God Bless!!

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