The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry

I might be biased but this really is the best Leftover Turkey Curry you could hope to make. It’s totally creamy with coconut milk and double cream, punchy with spices, garlic, chilli and ginger and is gorgeously relaxing to make. A little bit of chopping, a stir here or there and you’re done.

A bowl of The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry with naan bread, raita and rice

The main reason that my mum advocates for having turkey every year for Christmas lunch is so we can have Leftover Turkey Curry for Boxing Day dinner. I’m more than happy to comply as not only is it absolutely delicious but it’s also my favourite meal of the year to make. The soothing job of lightly chopping and stirring is a perfectly relaxing Boxing Day task. The promise of Leftover Turkey Curry is the reason that we always get a turkey which is way bigger than we actually need.

This is a curry for a special occasion. Rich, creamy and delicious, after all we’re still celebrating Christmas. It’s a great meal for the whole family and you can amend the chilli heat depending on the age of your youngest contingent.

A bowl of The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry with naan bread, raita and rice

Why is this Leftover Turkey Curry the one you should make this year?

  • It’s so creamy. Using both coconut milk and double cream, this curry is rich and delicious.
  • Punchy spices, garlic, chilli and ginger give this curry a tasty kick.
  • Roast potatoes – do you add potatoes into your curry? No? Oh my gosh, you need to get on that!!
  • It feeds a crowd really well if you still have all your family staying.
  • You can make huge batches of this curry for storing in the freezer for cold January nights.

For another turkey curry option try this Turkey Peanut and Kale Curry.

How do you make Leftover Turkey Curry?

  1. Heat onions on a low heat for 15 minutes to gently caramelise.
  2. Add spices, garlic, fresh chilli, fresh ginger, tomatoes and chutney.Process shot of Leftover Turkey Curry
  3. Cook for 15 minutes or until pulpy.Process shot of Leftover Turkey Curry
  4. Add the turkey, coconut milk and double cream and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add the roast potatoes and cook for a final 15 minutes before sprinkling with fresh coriander and serving.Process shot of Leftover Turkey Curry

Pro Tip

  • Peeling the tomatoes – this sounds fiddly but it’s really easy and if you don’t like bits of tomato skin getting stuck in your teeth then it’s worth the extra step.

tomatoes in a bowl of boiled water for peeling tomatoes waiting for their skins to be peeled peeled tomatoes on a wooden board

How do you peel tomatoes?

Cut a small cross at the base of each tomato and submerge in just boiled water for 5 minutes. The small cut naturally elongates in the heat and creates a split down the sides of the tomato peel. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon. Leave until cool enough to handle and the skins should peel off pretty easily.

More Pro Tips

  • Spices – Dry-fry the whole spices before crushing so they can release a delicious toasty flavour. To crush the spices you can use a pestle and mortar but I have had great use out of my spice grinder (often bought as a coffee mill) and really recommend them.

  • Chilli – I love to add the seeds in here as for the adults it give a delicate amount of heat. If you are serving to children you can omit the seeds which is where the real heat lies, or even the red chilli entirely. To be honest I usually just mix my toddler’s portion with extra yoghurt.
  • Chutney – It’s totally optional but I recommend adding a tablespoon of chutney to the curry. The sweet vinegary flavour really punches up the curry up a notch. You can use mango chutney but I usually use an open jar of the chutney we used on the Boxing Day cheeseboard. Usually this Boxing Day Ale Chutney.
  • Roast Potatoes – If you’re like us you will have tonnes of roasties left over from your Christmas lunch. You will find that adding them to this curry is the best culinary decision you made all year.

A saucepan of The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry

Best way to serve Leftover Turkey Curry

Basmati Rice
Cucumber Raita
Naan Bread

How do you make dairy-free Turkey Curry?

Just replace the double cream with coconut cream or more coconut milk.

A bowl of The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry with naan bread, raita and rice

Vegan Option?

So obviously here you’ll leave out the turkey. Replace it with any pre-roasted vegetables you have to hand. Butternut squash, pumpkin, cauliflower or carrots would be so delicious here. Switch out the double cream for more coconut milk too.

Can you freeze Leftover Turkey Curry?

Absolutely. We make huge batches of this curry and freeze in portions for enjoying on wintery January nights. In fact this past summer I discovered a forgotten Tupperware of Leftover Turkey Curry in the freezer and was utterly delighted with my unseasonal treasure.

A bowl of The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry with naan bread, raita and rice

For more ideas on using up Christmas leftovers have a look at these recipes:

Bubble and Squeak
Bramley Apple Mincemeat Pudding
Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake

If you make The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own leftover creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry

I might be biased but this really is the best Leftover Turkey Curry you could hope to make. It’s totally creamy with coconut milk and double cream, punchy with spices, garlic, chilli and ginger and is gorgeously relaxing to make. A little bit of chopping, a stir here or there and you’re done.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 522kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 to matoes peeled and chopped *
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 red chilli diced with seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 inch fresh ginger peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon chutney mango, ploughmans or ale chutney
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 400 g leftover turkey meat
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 200 g leftover roast potatoes halved (optional)
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large flat bottomed pan.
  • Add the diced onions and cook very gently for 15-20 minutes until transparent.
  • Dry fry the caraway, fennel, cumin and coriander seeds in a small pan over a low heat for about 45 seconds – 1 minute. Keep a close eye so they don’t burn. Then pound them in a pestle and mortar until finely crushed.
  • Add the crushed seeds along with the turmeric and garam masala into the onions. Also add the chilli, garlic and fresh ginger. Stir in for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, chutney (if using) and salt cook on a gentle simmer for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes and spices have reduced to a pulp.
  • Add the coconut milk, double cream and turkey meat. Stir together well. Turn up the heat to bring the curry to boil, then turn down to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the roast potatoes (if using) but do not stir in too heavily or the meat and potatoes will break up too much. Cook for a final 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle over the fresh coriander just before serving.

Notes

  • Peeling the tomatoes is totally optional. I really dislike cooked tomato skin so it’s always an extra step I take but if you can’t be bothered then don’t worry. To peel the tomatoes cut a small cross at the base of each tomato and submerge in just boiled water for 5 minutes. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and the skins should peel back pretty easily.
  • You dry fry the spices because it releases a toasted flavour so it is worth the effort.
  • The red chilli adds a slight heat to the proceedings but if you would like your curry ultra mild then discard the seeds.
  • The chutney is optional but well worth it if you have an open jar lying around.
    If you want your curry dairy-free then substitute the double cream for coconut cream.
  • Instead of the roast potatoes, or alongside them you could also add any leftover vegetables. Squash, cauliflower, parsnips and carrots work the best.
  • Serve with basmati rice, cucumber raita and naan bread.

Nutrition

Calories: 522kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 935mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2265IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 5mg

Turkey, Peanut and Kale Curry with Cucumber and Coriander Raita

Turkey, Peanut and Kale Curry with Cucumber and Coriander Raita is one of the best ways to use up leftover turkey.

Turkey Peanut and Kale Curry with Cucumber and Coriander Raita

Although the last bauble was plucked from the tree yesterday, carefully bubble wrapped, boxed up and sent back up to the attic for the next eleven months I am still eeking out the last vestiges of Christmas.

Turkey Peanut and Kale Curry with Cucumber and Coriander Raita

Turkey curry is the only way to usher in the new year. This curry feels so happy, healthy and hearty that it is encouraging me to take a running jump into January. I have been making the same resolution to throw off all my excess baby weight every month since June last year so I refuse to make yet another promise to myself that is let down by exhaustion and lack of time.

Turkey Peanut and Kale Curry with Cucumber and Coriander Raita

Turkey Peanut and Kale Curry with Cucumber and Coriander Raita

Instead I will be focusing on falling back in love with food. It is no secret that I haven’t posted here much, of course I barely have a second to myself but since it is also true that we will always make time for the things we really want to do I have to confess that food has not been my friend of late.

Turkey Peanut and Kale Curry with Cucumber and Coriander Raita

Turkey Peanut and Kale Curry with Cucumber and Coriander Raita

I have been tired and hungry, stopgapping my energy loss with sugar and letting Deliveroo do all my heavy lifting at mealtimes. However times are achanging and I have definitely been feeling a little of my trusty spark back. These past 6 weeks I have begun to wean Cole and he has been taking to food as if he has been waiting for this moment the whole of his tiny little life. His unparalleled enthusiasm is reminding me how excited I used to get about mealtimes. We are doing baby led weaning which basically means we are foregoing purees and diving into the main event, it’s absolutely wonderful to see him polishing off fishcakes, turkey and brussel sprouts and omelette and he is inspiring me to find myself again in my love of food.

Turkey Peanut and Kale Curry with Cucumber and Coriander Raita

I have cooked from scratch more this past six weeks that the whole of the last seven months put together and I am relishing every minute of it. Thanks to Cole I have finally managed to perfect falafel, houmous and cornbread muffins, rekindle my love of swiss bircher museli and start every meal with a fat wodge of melon (– it’s teething time!)

Turkey Peanut and Kale Curry with Cucumber and Coriander Raita

However, this curry is not for my little one, there is only so much under seasoned food mummy and daddy can subject themselves to so this is one for us grown-ups. I make a curry every year on Boxing Day and this year’s was so particularly good that I dug out another tupperware of turkey from this year’s stash in our freezer and re-fashioned it slightly for a lighter month (goodbye double cream and roast potatoes!) but I have to say it has lost absolutely nothing in the translation. This turkey, kale and peanut curry is so deeply flavourful and the rough earthy kale which is tucked into the curry at the last minute is not merely a nod to trends but a necessary backdrop to the whole affair.

Turkey Peanut and Kale Curry with Cucumber and Coriander Raita

The accompanying cucumber and coriander raita is so alive and refreshing that it sparks a complete contrast to the comfort of the curry and the two pair admirably together. If you can take it you must sprinkle on some more chilli, a further crumble of peanuts and a smattering of coriander. This flavour of this curry will knock you for six then pick you up and give you a wonderful cuddle.

Bring it on 2016, I am so excited about the year – and the food- to come!

Turkey, Peanut and Kale Curry with Cucumber and Coriander Raita

Turkey, Peanut and Kale Curry with Cucumber and Coriander Raita is one of the best ways to use up leftover turkey.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 560kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large onion peeled and diced, about 250g
  • ¾ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ red chilli sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 inch ginger peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon mango chutney or any other chutney you have hanging around
  • 200 g tomatoes quartered, about 4
  • 50 g roasted unsalted peanuts , roughly chopped
  • 275 g leftover turkey
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 160 g kale I used cavolo nero
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cucumber and Coriander Raita

  • 100 g cucumber
  • 200 ml natural yoghurt – the best you can find
  • Handful of coriander leaves finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Heat a large flat bottomed pan with the coconut oil then add the diced onions. Fry on a very low heat for about 30 – 40 minutes until the onions have caramelised.
  • Pour the fennel, cumin, mustard and coriander seeds into a small frying pan over a low heat for one minute, keeping a close eye so they don’t burn. Tip them into a pestle and mortar and pound until they have completely crushed.
  • Add the toasted spices into the caramelised onion along with the curry powder, turmeric, chilli, garlic, ginger and mango chutney. Stir in then add the tomatoes.
  • Cook on a gentle heat for about 15 minutes until the tomatoes have reduced to a pulp.
  • Add the peanuts, turkey and coconut milk then simmer on a low heat for a further 15 minutes until the curry has thickened.
  • Meanwhile prepare the kale by removing the stems of the kale and discard, then slice the kale leaves finely. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil then blanch the kale for a 3 minutes. Drain and squeeze the kale to remove the excess water.
  • Stir the kale into the curry then remove from the heat and serve with the cucumber and coriander raita.

Cucumber and Coriander Raita

  • Cut the cucumber in half and remove and discard the seeds by scooping out with a teaspoon. Then grate the cucumber into a medium sized bowl.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined and the sugar and salt has dissolved into the yoghurt.
  • Leave to chill in the fridge until needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 560kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 203mg | Potassium: 991mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 4560IU | Vitamin C: 68.2mg | Calcium: 190mg | Iron: 6.1mg