Turmeric Turkey

tumeric turkey

We recently celebrated Thanksgiving with some American friends here in France. I helped out with a little cooking, but it was my friend who cooked most of the dishes and managed to set up a kitchen in a hall with no running water and serve everything hot for 45 people. Not only did she manage this, but she did it without raising her voice to her four kids, staying calm with the few volunteers she had available and managed to greet every guest as they walked through the door. I was left a little flabbergasted by her bucolic approach to what would have unnerved me for days before. I thought for sure the turkey would turnout dry. How anyone could manage to cook and reheat turkey in a portable oven as well as serve it hot and moist, was beyond me. But of course, she managed that too. Hats off to you, Angie!

We don’t eat a lot of turkey in Australia. The traditionalists among us would certainly wheel it out for Christmas, but no where near the 88% of Americans who serve it up every year for their annual Thanksgiving feast. I was decidedly impressed with how good the turkey was, and so it sent me off to the butcher the next week to try it out myself. On my way to the butcher, I got distracted by a local organic grocer whose doors were open (it’s not always guaranteed where we live, so I took advantage). I almost did a happy dance in the store when I discovered their usual out-of-stock cacao butter was available, and I bought all that was left to make up some of my raw chocolate I’ve been craving for way too many months.

Fresh tumeric

Then I came across this. Fresh turmeric. I’ve never seen it fresh before and I’ve always used it dry. I know how good an anti-inflammatory it is, so I decided to combine it with the turkey for dinner that night. My go-to with turmeric is always coconut milk so the recipe seemed fairly obvious. I grabbed some fresh coriander on my way to the register and I was set.

This recipe is very simple, and you could easily substitute the turkey for chicken and the fresh turmeric for dried. I used Romano beans – they are a flat green bean that are just exceptional at the moment and in peak season. It ticks all the allergy boxes: dairy free, gluten free, egg free and nut free and the flavour will please even the fussiest eaters.

Ingredients (serves 5)

1kg turkey breast, cut into 2cm cubes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 small shallots, diced
1 brown onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2cm piece of fresh ginger finely diced or grated
3 tsp dried turmeric or 3cm length of fresh turmeric, finely diced
2 tbsp fish sauce
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup water
300mls coconut milk or cream
200gms green beans (I used Romano beans), ends trimmed and sliced into 2cm pieces
1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
400gms rice, to serve
2 tsp dried turmeric for rice


Saute the shallots, onions and ginger with the olive oil for 3 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for a further 2 mins. Add the turkey pieces and brown for 3-4mins before adding the turmeric, fish sauce and water. Season well with salt and pepper. Cover and allow to cook on a low-medium heat for approximately 15-20mins. Once the turkey is cooked through, add the coconut cream and green beans and cook for a further 3 minutes uncovered. Add half the coriander and stir through just before you serve it. Add the remaining coriander on top. Serve with rice (I cook my rice with turmeric sprinkled in the water). Super easy and full of flavour.

Print the recipe for Turmeric Turkey here.

Bon appetit!


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