Kids Corner


Turkey Tikka Masala




It's the perennial day-after-Christmas question: What to do with the leftover turkey?

This year, why not try something with a Punjabi flare?

Amardeep "Dolly" Kaur and her husband, Jagtar Singh Cheema, owners of two Kiran Palace locations, in Commack and Levittown, New York, emigrated from Punjab.

The dish, chicken tikka masala, is more popular around the world, than it is on the subcontinent.

Almost every Punjabi restaurant in the United States and the United Kingdom serves a version, and almost every version is different. Since it is traditionally made with leftover tandoori chicken, making it with leftover turkey is an eminently sen­sible variation.

Sarwan Singh, chef at Kiran Palace in Commack, uses cream to round out the sauce. You could also use coconut milk.

Makes: 4 servings

2 tablespoons (25 mL) vegetable oil

1 large onion, very finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon (5 mL) minced fresh ginger

1 to 2 teaspoons (up to 10 mL) pure chili powder (not a chili seasoning blend)

1 cups (375 mL) tomato purée

cup (175 mL) heavy cream

Salt and pepper

1 pound (450 g) turkey, skinned and cubed

1 tablespoons (7.5 mL) garam masala (see note)

Basmati rice for serving


In a large skillet, combine vegetable oil and onion, garlic and ginger. Cook over low-medium heat, not allowing anything to brown, until onion is translucent and soft, about 15 minutes. Add the chili powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, cream, salt, pepper, turn up heat to medium-high; simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Add turkey and garam masala, turn down heat and simmer slowly for about 10 minutes. Serve with basmati rice.

Note: Garam masala is spice mixture you can buy at any Punjabi and specialty food markets, or you can make your own.

To preserve the flavour of the spices, grind them at the last minute.

Here's a recipe from At Home with Madhur Jaffrey (Knopf, $35):

Combine 1 tablespoon (10 mL) cardamom seeds, 1/3 of a nutmeg (hit it with a hammer to break it), a 3-inch length of cinnamon stick, (also broken up) and 1 teaspoon (5 mL) each whole cloves, whole black peppercorns and whole cumin seeds. Makes about 3 tablespoons.

[Courtesy: The Ottawa Citizen. Edited for]

December 23, 2010

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