Every Christmas my father carefully and conscientiously buys a turkey at least five times as big as needed for our small family gatherings, and this year was no exception – to feed just four people he purchased a bird weighing in at a massive seven kilos! I’m sure my dad is at the far end of the scale, but nearly all of us face the bother of leftovers at this time of year, and it can be quite overwhelming sometimes. There really are only so many turkey sandwiches one can choke down with genuine pleasure, after all. So for those of you who, like me, are still chowing down on leftovers, here is the perfect recipe.
I’ve always avoided turkey curry, as it seemed an obviously sneaky way of disguising bland, overcooked meat, but this one is really rather special. Adapted from Anjum Anand’s recipe published recently in Sainsbury’s Magazine, it’s quick to make, and therefore light and fragrant, and seriously tasty. Serve it with plain boiled rice and/or naan breads. Alternatively you can make this a one-pot meal by adding cooked new potatoes and a handful of green beans with the turkey at step 3.
Incidentally, this dish is so good that it’s worth making even if you don’t have leftovers hanging around. Turkey is a very economical and lean meat available all year round, and most supermarkets sell turkey breasts or leg portions, which you can roast briefly (skin-on to retain moisture), then cut up and use in this.
Leftover Turkey Curry
1½ tsp mustard seeds
2 white onions, finely sliced
20 curry leaves
8 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tsp root ginger, finely grated
4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tsp ground turmeric
600g cooked turkey meat, cut into large chunks or strips
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tin coconut milk
For the garam:
3½ tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1-inch piece cinnamon stick
1 tsp cardamom pods
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1. Fry the mustard seeds in oil, add the onions and curry leaves. Fry gently until softened, then add the garlic and ginger and fry for a couple more minutes.
2. Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and discard the husks. Use a spice grinder or pestle & mortar to grind all the garam spices to a fine powder, add the turmeric, ground coriander, chopped tomatoes and 1 tsp. salt and blitz to a rough puree with a hand blender or mini processor. Add to the fried onions, and simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes.
3. Add the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Allow to reduce until thickened, reduce the heat, add the turkey and cherry tomatoes and simmer until the turkey is hot through.