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Bhabi’s Haash Bhuna

January 27, 2013

Bhabi’s Haash Bhuna

Growing up in Bangladesh, I recall how my mum used to keep ducks (Haash) alongside chickens.  The main purpose of the ducks was to provide fresh eggs for the family.  On the rare occasion we would cook and eat the duck.  The one duck would make at least two dishes, one would be with the skin and bones cooked with seasonal vegetables.  The other dish would be the bhuna and this is one of my favourites!  On my visit to London for a weekend to my bhabi’s (sister in law) house, I took a duck with me for her to cook in a traditional style.  She is known for her culinary skills, and I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to learn as well.


  • A medium sized duck
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • Large thumb of ginger
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 cardamoms
  • 2 onions
  • 2 sticks of cassia bark
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1.5 tsp of paprika
  • 1.5 tsp of chilli powder
  • 1.5 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tsp of cumin powder

I have purchased the duck from a halal butchers, but it can be bought from any main supermarket.  The duck needs to be cut into small pieces, but you can leave the thigh and leg in tact with the skin on.  Remove the skin from all the other meat if preferred.  Peel the ginger and garlic and crush into a paste.  Peel the onions and cut into small pieces.

Heat the pan on a medium gas and add the oil, once heated add the star anise, cardamoms, cassia bark, bay leaves and allow them to temper.  Then add the garlic and ginger, once brown add the duck, onions along with the salt and stir in keeping it at a medium heat.  Put the lid on and allow the duck and spices to cook.  Once the duck releases it water, then add the remaining spices and lower the heat and allow it to cook slowly.  The slower the better as this will absorb all the spices.  This will also depend on the maturity of the duck as young tender one will cook faster.  Traditionally duck is eaten with sticky (glutinous) rice.  The image below is with sticky rice.


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