I tried this for the first time last Thanksgiving at the suggestion of a relative. It’s a great way to utilize leftover turkey and makes a nice change from boring old turkey sandwiches!
Ingredients: (makes about 20 balls: serves 4-6)
Fresh coriander leaves
2 medium white onions
2 garlic cloves
6-8 tablespoons cooking oil
Spices: turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, coriander powder, salt to taste.
How to prepare the kofta (balls):
1. Blend all the leftover turkey in a grinder or blender.
2. In a bowl, mix the turkey, a handful of chopped fresh coriander, 1 egg, and only 1/2 tsp of cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander and 1/4 tsp of turmeric and mix well together. No need to add salt since the turkey already contains salt.
3. In a pan, heat up about 4-6 tablespoons of cooking oil.
4. Once the oil is hot enough for frying, gather a bit of the mixture in your hands and roll into a ball. The mixture should make about 20 medium sized balls. Fry all the balls until golden brown then move aside. (Frying them for the right amount of time means they won’t fall apart when you place them in the massala).
Note: If you are planning to prepare the kofta/balls beforehand so you can make the curry at a later date (or even use the turkey balls for a tasty pasta dish) this is where you would stop. You can keep the kofta in the refrigerator or freeze them for however long you need to.
To make the massala: Make the massala as you would for any curry. The method is always the same!
5. Dice 2 onions finely and fry in about 2 tablespoons of oil. When the onion starts to brown, add some finely chopped garlic. (You could also use a blender to blend one of the onions, whilst frying the other. Add this to the fried onion before adding the spices).
6. Add 1 tsp each of cumin, coriander, chilli powder, turmeric and salt and stir well.
7. Chop up 1 tomato and add to the mixture. Fry for 2 minutes then add 1 cup of water and blend into a paste. Continue to cook on low heat until you have a nice thick massala.
Note: You should by now have enough quantity of the massala to make the perfect curry. Make sure the massala isn’t too dry nor too liquidy. Play around with it until you get the quantity you need. To make more massala from the get go – add more onion.
8. Add the prepared turkey kofta/balls and coat in the massala. Let simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on then remove from heat.
9. Add some fresh chopped coriander/cilantro for decoration and flavour.
Recommendations: Serve with white or brown basmati rice.
Recipe by Sabina Huq