Easy spicy turkey curry with rice for Thanksgiving

image of turkey curry

Does anyone else like eating turkey curry over rice? gather around to read my story.

I always made turkey roast for Thanksgiving. I like to think I have adopted well in to incorporating my Sri Lankan spice rubs to turkey roast. I loved every minute cooking it the traditional way. But there have been times when I had to do something simple and easy just for my family thanksgiving dinner table. I was not going to have guests over, I was short on time, and didn’t want to commit to dealing with huge amount of leftover by making a full bird roast. This Spicy thanksgiving turkey curry over rice dinner was something like that. Let’s face it, sometimes we all have too much turkey roast after thanksgiving!

image of turkey curry

But this year I have a lot to be thankful for. Family, friends, health, and good hobbies just to name a few. To be thankful for new beginnings, and good times I wanted to make a turkey dinner again. Also, I got voted down because no one went for my idea of cooking fish for thanksgiving. I did get to decide how I want to cook turkey for thanksgiving, so I went with my go to easy turkey recipe. Spicy turkey curry. Besides what better way for a curry recipe blogger to cook thanksgiving turkey other than a turkey curry?

So here it comes! My Spicy turkey curry recipe

turkey curry tikka masala style
Red curry spatchcock turkey roast
Red curry spatchcock turkey roast

My recipe can be adopted to cook leftover roasted turkey, but I would say totally make it form fresh turky because it turns even better. Key difference of my curry over tikka masala style turkey curry is I would like to make it spicier and make it with good dose of fennel, cinnamon and nutmeg following my Sri Lankan roots. It just comes out so delicious.

Let’s get around to making this curry without further delay


  • 4 pound of turkey (use a mix of bone in breast and thighs)
  • 3 tablespoons of roasted red curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons of cayenne powder ( optional)
  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • Teaspoon of yellow mustard
  • Pinch of nutmeg powder ( in addition to what’s in red curry powder)
  • Half a teaspoon black cumin seeds
  • 2-inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoons of crushed whole black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon of mung bean dal
  • Handful of curry leaves
  • 3 green chilies
  • One medium red onion sliced
  • Teaspoon of tomato paste
  • Teaspoon of tamarind paste
  • Tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 2 Cups of water
  • One inch piece of ginger
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • Tablespoon of salt


  • In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil and when hot, crack mustard seeds.
  • Add mung dal, ginger garlic minced together, cinnamon, nutmeg, curry leaves, and green chili, in that order
  • Sauté for a minute and add onions and tomatoes. Sauté until soft and juices are released.
  • Add turmeric, red curry powder, nutmeg, coriander, cayenne powder, crushed black pepper,and salt.
  • Sauté to combine and cook for about two minutes.
  • Add the pieces of turkey and toss to combine with the seasoning. Add water to cover the meat.
  • Cover and cook until meat tender and cooked through. (20 minutes in pressure cooker or 45 minutes in Dutch oven)
  • Serve hot over rice or mashed potatoes

Post recipe notes : if you are using already cooked turkey meat from roast, skip to just adding red curry seasoning to your taste and cook the curry with coconut milk or water.

You could also grind all the dry spices together with toasted mung dal into a curry powder if you don’t like the texture in your finished curry sauce. Smooth curry powder or paste will give a smooth luxurious curry sauce.

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