Inspiration / Food & Wine

Felicity Cloake's Duck Vindaloo


Felicity Cloake Felicity Cloake / 15 November 2019

Don't be put off by this Goan curry's fearsome reputation: in truth, vindaloo, with its Portuguese influences (the name derives from vinha d'alhos – wine and garlic), is more sweet and sour than hot, and packed full of the kind of spices that scream Christmas wherever you are in the world. The tangy gravy works best with rich meats like duck or pork – substitute 800g diced pork shoulder if you prefer – and is even better made a day or so in advance, and then reheated, which is always handy at this time of year. Serve with rice or boiled potatoes, and a robust red for a festive feast with a difference.

Duck vindaloo

Serves 6

Duck vindaloo


  • 1 duck, about 2.5kg, jointed (ask your butcher to do this, or see step 1) or 4 duck legs and 2 duck breasts
  • 75ml cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp coconut or neutral oil
  • 4 red onions finely sliced
  • 10 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 65g ginger, cut into slim matchsticks
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste (optional)
  • 1-3 whole small green chillies, according to taste, slit down their length
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds

For the spice mix

  • 1–2 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder or paprika
  • 8 cardamom pods, seeds only
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 5cm cinnamon stick

If you're using a whole duck, cut off the legs and wings (an online tutorial will help with this if you're not sure how to do so), take off the breasts and cut them into quarters and remove any remaining meat from the carcass. Strip off as much skin from the meat as possible but don't worry too much, as it will give the dish richness and you can take it off before serving.

Grind together all the ingredients for the spice mix in an electric grinder or using a pestle and mortar, then stir in the vinegar to make a fairly smooth paste. Rub into the pieces of duck and leave to marinate at coolroom temperature for 3 hours.

Finely slice the onions, then fry them gently in the oil on a medium-low heat in a large, lidded pan until soft and beginning to brown. Stir in the garlic and ginger, fry for a couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes, tamarind paste if using, chillies, sugar, salt and mustard seeds.

Turn up the heat and add the duck, marinade and 100ml water. Bring back to a simmer, cover and cook gently for an hour, stirring occasionally, and topping up with more water if necessary.

Partially remove the lid and cook for about another 30-45 minutes until the duck is very tender and the sauce has thickened.

At this point you can serve immediately, but I like to take the meat off the legs and cut the breast into smaller pieces before reheating – there's little meat on the wings, so I generally leave them in for people to eat with their hands!

Wine Recommendation:

Why not head back to the country of the dish's origins and try with the big bold and richly spicy flavours of a Douro red?

Where to go next?

Want more inspiration?

Sign up for a carefully-curated selection of recipes, guides, in-depth expertise and much more.

Our website uses cookies with the aim of providing you with a better service. By using this website you consent to The Wine Society using cookies in accordance with our policy.


4.4. Cookie Policy

By using The Wine Society website, you agree to cookies being used in accordance with the policy outlined below. If you do not agree to this, you must alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you or cease using the website.

The Wine Society uses cookies to enable easy navigation and shopping on the website. We take the privacy of all who use our website very seriously and ensure that our use of cookies complies with current EU legislation. The following guide outlines what cookies are, the types of cookies used on The Society's website and how they work.

You may alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you, but this will cause difficulties when accessing and using some areas of the site. Instructions on how to do this can also be found below.

4.4.1. What are 'Cookies'?

  • Most major websites use cookies.
  • A cookie is a very small data file placed on your hard drive by a web page server. It is essentially your access card, and cannot be executed as code or deliver viruses. It is uniquely yours and can only be read by the server that gave it to you.
  • Cookies cannot be used by themselves to identify you.
  • The purpose of a basic cookie is to tell the server that you returned to that web page or have items in your basket. Without cookies, websites and their servers have no memory. A cookie, like a key, enables swift passage from one place to the next.
  • Without a cookie every time you open a new web page the server where that page is stored will treat you like a completely new visitor.
  • More recently, cookies have also been used to collect information about the user which allows a profile of their preferences and interests to be created so that they can be served with interest-based rather than generic information about available goods and services.

4.4.2. How do Cookies help The Wine Society?

Cookies allow our website to function effectively. Cookies also help us to arrange content to match your preferred interests more quickly. We can learn what information is important to our visitors, and what isn't.

4.4.3. How does The Wine Society use cookies?

The Wine Society does not accept advertising from third parties and therefore, as a rule, does not serve third-party cookies. Exceptions to this include performance/analytical cookies (see below), used anonymously to improve the way our website works, the provision of personalised recommendations, and occasions when we may team up with suppliers to offer special discounts on goods or services.

The Society uses technology to track the patterns of behaviour of visitors to our site.

4.4.4. What type of cookies does The Wine Society use?

We use the following three types of cookies: Strictly Necessary Cookies
These cookies are required for the operation of our website, enabling you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, services like shopping baskets or e-billing cannot be provided. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Authentication Cookie and Anonymous Cookie
    These cookies remember that you are logged in to your account – without them, the website would repeatedly request your login details with each new page you visit during your time on our website. They are removed once your session has ended.
  • Session Cookie
    These cookies are used to remember who you are as you use our site: without them, the website would be unable to tell the difference between you and another Wine Society member and facilities such as your basket and the checkout process would therefore not be able to function. They too are removed once your session has ended. Functionality & Targeting/Tracking Cookies
These cookies are used to recognise you when you return to our website and to provide enhanced features. This allows us to personalise our content for you. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Unique User Cookie
    This cookie is used to:
    • store your share number in order to identify that you have visited the website before. Without this cookie, we would be unable to tell whether you are a member or not.
    • record your visit to the website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We use this information to make our website, the content displayed on it and direct marketing communications we may send to you or contact you about more relevant to your interests.
    • This cookie expires after 13 months.
  • Peerius Cookies
    These third-party cookies are used to provide you with personalised recommendations based on your purchase and browsing history. They expire within 4 hours of your visit. Performance/analytical cookies
These cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don't collect information which identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Google Analytics Cookies
    These are third-party cookies to enable Google Analytics to monitor website traffic. All information is recorded anonymously. Using Google Analytics allows The Society to better understand how members use our site and monitor website traffic. Authentication Cookie
In order for us to ensure that your data remains secure it is necessary for us to verify that your session is authentic (i.e. it has not been compromised by a malicious user). We do this by storing an otherwise meaningless unique ID in a cookie for the duration of your visit. No personal information can be gained from this cookie.

4.4.5. How do you turn cookies off?

All modern browsers allow you to modify your cookie settings so that all cookies, or those types which are not acceptable to you, are blocked. However, please note that this may affect the successful functioning of the site, particularly if you block all cookies, including essential cookies. For example, In Internet Explorer, go to the Tools Menu, then go to Internet Options, then go to Privacy. Here you can change the rules your browser uses to accept cookies. You can find out more in the public sources mentioned below.

4.4.6. Learn more about cookies

4.4.7. Changes to our cookie policy

Any changes we may make to our cookie policy in the future will be posted on the website and, where appropriate, notified to you by email. Please check back frequently to see any updates and changes to our cookie policy.