Ground Turkey & Coconut Milk Curry by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan
March 29, 2019
This is a quick ‘stew’ that offers ease of preparation (one-pot cooking), aromatic flavors and good nutrition. It’s “Paleo and Keto” friendly and only a bit exotic; you’ll be able to serve it to the whole family!
- Prep: 40 mins
- Cook: 25 mins
- Yields: 4 entrée servings
1 cup uncooked rice: white, brown, basmati…your choice
1 ½ pound ground turkey meat
1 cup finely minced onion (start with 8-10 ounces raw weight)
2 stalks celery, washed and trimmed
3 whole carrots, peeled
3-4 tablespoons canola or coconut oil (plus more as needed)
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh gingerroot (from a 3-ounce knob of gingerroot)
2 tablespoons curry powder, your favorite brand
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
3 or 4 bell peppers, your choice of colors
½ can diced tomatoes, drained of liquid
2 cans unsweetened coconut milk, not low-fat
½ to ¾ cup chicken stock or water (plus more as needed)
Juice of 1-2 limes, or to taste
1 cup frozen peas
½ bunch scallions, washed and thinly sliced
Optional: 1 small jalapeno pepper, sliced into rings
Optional: 1-2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
Optional: ½ cup chopped, dry-roasted peanuts
Begin by cooking the rice, if using. Drain and keep warm.
Mise-en-place: This is your advance prep work, to enable quick assembly of the dish.
Mince the onion, slice the peeled carrots on the diagonal (no more than 1/8th inch thick if you can safely cut that thinly), and thinly slice the celery. Peel and chop the garlic. Peel, slice and chop the fresh gingerroot. Measure the dry spices. Wash the bell peppers, remove core and seeds. Slice off the top ½ -inch of the pepper and slice the pepper into 4 even pieces/’planks’. Cut these pieces off the sides of the pepper as if you were cutting the sides off of a box. Then cut these pieces into large 2-inch chunks. Drain the tomatoes. Open the cans of coconut milk. Have chicken stock (or water) at the ready.
Heat a large casserole pan over medium heat and add 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil of your choice. Add the chopped onions and a pinch of salt. Turn heat to medium low and cook until onions are translucent. Stir frequently to ensure even cooking and no-burning. Add the prepared celery and carrots along with a pinch of salt. Stir to combine, cover the pot and cook for 5-8 minutes or until softened. Add more cooking oil as needed.
Next, add the ‘aromatics’ to the pot: add the minced garlic, the chopped fresh ginger, the curry powder, ground cumin, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir to combine and cook until ‘aromatic’; that is, the spices have begun to exude their aromas. Add more cooking oil if necessary, to avoid sticking and stir frequently.
Add the bell peppers and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the ground turkey to the pot. Use a large spoon or spatula to break up the mass of turkey meat into smaller pieces. Keep it moving around the pan. It will cook fairly quickly; in less than five minutes.
Add the drained tomatoes, both cans of coconut milk and ½ cup of chicken stock or water.
Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar and cook for 10-12 minutes.
Add the juice of one or two fresh limes and the sliced jalapeno and sriracha sauce (if using). Technically, the sriracha is not ‘Indian”. I suppose a pinch or two of cayenne pepper might be more in keeping with Indian tradition…but I do love sriracha! And the point is to add a bit of spicy heat to the dish. Feel free to season as suits your palate.
Add the peas. (If frozen, they will quickly defrost)
Taste and add more salt to your liking. Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes for all the flavors to mingle.
Adjust thickness with more chicken stock or water.
Serve in warmed bowls.
Garnish with the (optional) chopped peanuts and the sliced scallions
Please note: This recipe lends itself to infinite variations: I often add 8 ounces thinly sliced green cabbage with the sautéing onions or add cooked green beans at the end. Diced fresh tomatoes are a nice touch as well. And sometimes I add cubes of tofu.