Stay-at-Home Spiced Turkey Curry

Turkey curry recipe

This post is sponsored by Canadian Turkey.

Goan-inspired Turkey Curry recipe

For many of us Thanksgiving is a great excuse to get the whole family together for a meal. This year, for many of us masalamommas, birthdays, Eid, Rakhi, Easter have all been scaled down due to the COVID19 pandemic. It’s important to keep social circles small, adhering to government health guidelines so staying home means cooking with your own household is key.

As the weather gets cooler and Thanksgiving rolls around, turkey is more readily available at stores. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, trying out turkey is a great way to introduce your family to a new protein. Turkey is a great source of protein as well as nutrients such as B vitamins and minerals (selenium, zinc, phosphorus). Having a source of protein at your meals helps you feel fuller and contributes to a balanced meals when paired with healthy fats, veggies, and whole grain carbohydrates.

If cooking up a full turkey is overwhelming, trying out turkey in this kind of curry may be the option for you.

While Thanksgiving may be smaller and with your own immediate family only this year as we deal with restrictions for both shopping and gatherings, it certainly doesn’t have to be boring! Before the pandemic I remember going out with some friends to a Goan restaurant and having an amazing Goan curry with hot naan and vegetables. I remember thinking: ‘I wish we could make this at home!’

Our resident dietitian, Nazima Qureshi tried this turkey curry recipe in her kitchen recently. It has exotic flavours of coconut and tamarind and aromatic spices. If you’re like me, I make batches of masala and freeze them for the next time you want to make the dish again. This pre-planning really helps us as a family now as we juggle more meals at home with my kids doing remote learning and my mandated work-from-home routine. The curry paste can also be used as a marinade for grilled turkey breast later on in the week without any fuss. 

turkey curry masala

Pairing this spice blend with turkey is a great choice. Turkey is a lean protein and versatile, making it a perfect pairing for South Asian flavours. To keep your Thanksgiving plans simple, we’re pairing this Goan-inspired turkey curry with steamed beans and pilau rice. You likely already have beans and rice on your grocery list so adding it to a Thankgiving meal is a great way to include them in a meal.

Try this recipe for your next Thanksgiving celebration!

Stay-At-Home Goan-inspired Turkey Curry Recipe

Recipe by Nazima Qureshi

Makes: 4-6 servings 


Dry Spice mix:

1 Tbsp black pepper

1 Tbsp cumin

1 Tbsp coriander

1 Tbsp anise seeds

1 cinnamon stick 

3 dried red chilies


Masala for curry.

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 large onion, sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp ginger, minced

1 Tbsp fresh turmeric

1-3 green chilies

1 tsp salt

2lb turkey breast, cubed

¼ cup tamarind, in ½ cup water

1 can coconut milk



  1. Dry roast spices on a pan on medium heat until fragrant. Remove from heat and pulse in a spice grinder until fine.
  2. In a large sauce pan, heat coconut oil and add onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, ginger, fresh turmeric, green chili, and salt. 
  3. In a blender, add onion masala, 2 tbsp of ground dry masala, strained tamarind water and 1 cup of water. Blend until smooth.
  4. In the pan, cook turkey for 7-9 minutes until browned. 
  5. Add pureed masala to the pan and cook on high for 2 minutes. Add in 1 can of coconut milk. Cook for 7-9 minutes on medium high heat. 
  6. Remove from heat and serve with rice.


Other tips for using turkey:

For a family of 4 or 6, roasting a half turkey can be a great way to celebrate!  A half turkey cooks up just as delicious and festive as a whole turkey.  A turkey breast can be butterflied, rolled and roasted, and served with stuffing on the side to make a gorgeous feast on a smaller scale.  Your local butcher or grocer is an invaluable resource, and can help you find a solution that works for you.



  1. For an easy way to ensure extra-crispy skin, unwrap your turkey the day before you are planning to cook it and leave it in the fridge overnight.  The extra drying time will add the perfect crispiness to your turkey.
  2. Use a good quality meat thermometer to ensure you cook your turkey to the perfect doneness.  Test your thermometer a few days ahead of time to make sure it is working properly.
  3. Consider cooking your turkey in parts – breasts, thighs and drums – for a quicker, foolproof way to get the meat cooked perfectly.
  4. Get a head start on your meal!  You can prep all of your staples like onions, celery and carrots up to 3 days beforehand.  Dice and store in storage bags.  Green beans, squash and salad greens can be washed, trimmed, and chopped ahead of time.  Store these in storage bags for ready-to-cook sides.
  5. To reduce cooking time, cook your stuffing on the side.  This way you can get more of your favourite crunchy bits while cutting down on cooking time in the oven.
  6. Plan ahead and make a ‘smart’ shopping list.  Organize it by staples you can buy in advance and perishables you need to buy a few days before, then organize according to sections of the grocery store.  
  7. Look for make-ahead sides that you can make a day or two beforehand and taste delicious re-heated.  Bookmark a website with tasty and reliable turkey recipes and resources, like, so you’re ready for the big day!
  8. To plan for leftovers, order a turkey that is several pounds bigger than what you need.  Extra turkey freezes well! Store in an airtight container in the freezer for a quick start to a weekday meal.  Visit for recipe inspiration and create salads, soups, pastas or casseroles in a snap!

Are you looking for additional tips, recipes, Turkey Basics videos and HOW TOs? Visit for all your cooking inspiration.  Canadian Turkey makes your Thanksgiving easy with all the recipe suggestions and turkey prep tips you need.  The year-round whole turkey HOW TOs section will help you prepare a whole Canadian turkey for any occasion.  And the recipe section is filled with delicious recipes for whole turkey, turkey cuts and leftovers so you can get tasty, nutritious and versatile turkey on your table every day! 



©masalamommas and, 2016-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to and Masalamommas online magazine with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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