Turkey with a Hint of Thai

This Thai-influenced recipe was invented because – you've guessed it – I had quite a lot of cold turkey to use up. But because we enjoyed it so much, I would recommend making it with some ready-cooked chicken if there's no leftover turkey to hand.

Serves 4-6

This recipe first appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine (Flexible Feasts).

Turkey with a Hint of Thai
 1 lb 4 oz (570 g) cooked turkey or the same quantity of ready-cooked chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces
 1 level teaspoon cumin seeds
 1 level teaspoon fennel seeds
 1 level dessertspoon coriander seeds
 3 cardamom pods
 1½ tablespoons groundnut or other flavourless oil
 1 large onion, peeled, halved and cut in thin slices
 2 stalks celery, chopped into ½ inch (1 cm) pieces
 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped small
 2 green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
 1 inch (2.5 cm) piece of root ginger, grated
 1 level teaspoon ground fenugreek
 1 level teaspoon ground turmeric
 1½ level tablespoons plain flour
 1¼ pints (725 ml) vegetable stock made with Marigold Swiss vegetable bouillon powder
To serve:
 2 rounded tablespoons half-fat crème fraîche
 1 level tablespoon fresh chopped coriander leaves


Begin by dry-roasting the cumin, fennel, coriander seeds and cardamom to draw out their full flavours. To do this, place them in a small frying pan or saucepan set over a medium heat and stir and toss them around for 1-2 minutes, or until they begin to look toasted and start to 'jump' in the pan. Now transfer them to a pestle and mortar and crush to a powder.

Next, add the oil to a large frying pan and, when it's very hot, turn the heat down to medium and fry the onion and celery for 4-5 minutes or until well browned at the edges. Then add the garlic, chillies and ginger and cook for a further minute before adding the crushed spices, fenugreek, turmeric and the flour. Stir well, then add the turkey (or chicken) and stir again to coat all the pieces with the mixture.

Next, add the stock gradually, stirring yet again, then, as soon as it all comes to simmering point, turn the heat down and let it cook very gently for 25 minutes with the lid on. After that, stir in the crème fraîche and serve the curry with basmati or Thai rice, with the coriander leaves sprinkled over as a garnish.

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