What To Do With Turkey Leftovers

I know I’m super late posting this recipe because most of you will have already eaten all of your turkey leftovers…  Since my Mom always makes ribs or lamb for Christmas dinner, and my dad is a vegetarian, going on vegan, I’m so not used to eating turkey for Christmas.

This year was different, Mom decided she’d go the traditional way and make a big fat turkey for dinner. I am not really complaining, because Christmas is the only time I tolerate eating turkey. I really like the dark meat but I just feel so sluggish after eating it.

Anyways, the guys at Sorted Food came up with an interesting Turkey Bhuna recipe, that I had to try. I was really intrigued by the recipe, since I had never come across of the term Bhuna, which is in fact a way of frying spices before making a curry paste out of them. It helps them release their oils, making the dish much more savory. YOU CAN MAKE THIS VEGETARIAN BY USING TOFU INSTEAD OF TURKEY.

I was expecting something a little more powerful when I made it, but I did use a ton more turkey then they call for (we had a pretty huge bird, therefore a lot left over), so it ended up being milder than expected, but it was quite delicious.

If you’re wondering, I’m not entirely vegetarian. I call myself part-time since I can’t really afford to buy meat (chicken/turkey) and fish when I’m on my own, so I wait until I’m back home to actually eat and buy chicken and fish. I am however, unable to digest red meat. I don’t know if that clears up any confusion, but I thought I’d put it out there in case someone was wondering.

For the Bhuna curry paste, you will need

  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground fenugreek seeds (optional since it tends to be tricky to find)
  • 1 tsp. chilli seeds (flakes will do)
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp. oil (vegetable, sunflower, grapeseed, etc.)

Fry the seeds and spices with the oil in a pan until they start to smell and brown. You don’t want to burn them, so watch them carefully. Once toasted, separate as much as you can of the oil and keep it for the main base of the dish. You’re going to want to grind the spices to a rough paste with a pestle and mortar, or with a spice grinder, or in a food blender, or in a coffee grinder. Just make sure to wash your equipment thoroughly after, you don’t want it stained yellow because of the turmeric.

Set aside for now.

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For the main base, you will need

  • 2 onions (1 large and half of another will do), diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch thumb of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 100 ml of leftover turkey gravy (my mom didn’t keep hers, so I ended up using turkey stock)
  • 200 ml of water (I added more since there was TOO MUCH TURKEY)
  • 600 g of leftover cooked turkey
  • 10 curry leaves (I used a few dashes of curry powder since I didn’t have any on hand)

Like any other curry recipe I’ve made, add your onion, garlic and ginger to the leftover oil (you can add a little more too) and fry until the onions are translucent on medium heat.

Add in your Bhuna paste and tomatoes and give a good stir to combine everything and fry off for a few minutes before adding the gravy/stock and water. Bring to a simmer and add in your leftover shredded turkey and curry leaves/powder. Turn the heat down and let simmer for 30 minutes or so.

A nice little touch is making a raita, which is a yogurt dip, to go with the Bhuna. Although it isn’t a spicy dish, this mango raita goes amazingly well with it! Dice up one mango, add it to a cup of plain yogurt. Chop in some coriander (cilantro) leaves and add a few dashes of garam masala and salt/pepper and that’s  it!

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