Delia Smith Turkey Curry Recipe

Delia Smith Turkey Curry Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 55 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr 10 Mins

Delia Smith’s Turkey Curry is a flavorful and inventive way to use leftover turkey, combining the warm, aromatic spices of curry with the comforting richness of turkey meat. This dish is a testament to Delia Smith’s ability to turn simple ingredients into something truly special. It’s perfect for those seeking a hearty and satisfying meal with a twist.

In this article, I will show you how to make this turkey curry step by step, with some tips and tricks along the way. You will also learn some interesting facts about Delia Smith and her cooking career.

Let’s get started!

What is Delia Smith Turkey Curry?

Delia Smith Turkey Curry is a rich and flavorful dish that transforms leftover turkey into a deliciously creamy and spicy meal. Inspired by traditional English colonial curry, this recipe features a blend of curry powder, coconut, mango chutney, and sultanas, creating a perfect harmony of sweet, savory, and spicy flavors. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy turkey in a different and exciting way, especially during the colder months.

Delia Smith Turkey Curry Recipe
Delia Smith Turkey Curry

Other Turkey Cooking Recipes

Why You Love this Recipe:

This recipe stands out for several reasons:

  • Flavorful: The mix of spices, coconut, and chutney provides a depth of flavor that’s irresistible.
  • Comforting: It’s a warm, comforting dish ideal for chilly days or cozy evenings.
  • Versatile: Suitable for any type of leftover poultry or meat, offering flexibility.
  • Easy to Prepare: Straightforward steps make it easy even for beginners in the kitchen.

Ingredients Needed to Make Delia Smith Turkey Curry

To make this turkey curry, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of beef dripping or vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of Sherwood’s hot curry powder (for Madras)
  • 1 level teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 level teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 level tablespoon of plain flour
  • 1 pint (570 ml) of chicken stock
  • 1 large cooking apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 ounces (50 g) of sultanas
  • 2 tablespoons of mango chutney
  • 1 ounce (25 g) of desiccated coconut
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound (450 g) of cooked turkey, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Basmati rice, poppadoms, mango chutney, and lime pickle, to serve

Useful Equipment

You will need the following equipment to make this turkey curry:

  • A deep frying pan with a lid
  • A wooden spoon
  • A measuring jug
  • A measuring spoon
  • A sharp knife
  • A chopping board
  • A peeler
  • A garlic press
  • A small bowl
  • A fork
  • A serving dish

Instructions to Make Delia Smith Turkey Curry

Follow these instructions to make this turkey curry:

Step 1: Cook the onion and celery

  • Heat the dripping oil in the frying pan over medium heat until foaming, then add the onion and celery and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned at the edges.

Step 2: Add the garlic and spices

  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then stir in the curry powder, turmeric, ginger, and flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, to form a paste.

Step 3: Add the stock and bring to a boil

  • Gradually stir in the stock, making sure there are no lumps, then bring the sauce to a boil.

Step 4: Add the apple, sultanas, mango chutney and coconut

  • Add the apple, sultanas, mango chutney, and coconut, and season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to low and simmer the sauce for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced.

Step 5: Add the turkey and lemon juice

  • Add the turkey pieces and the lemon juice, and stir well to coat them with the sauce. Cover the pan with the lid and simmer for another 10 minutes, until the turkey is heated through.

Step 6: Serve with rice and poppadoms

  • Fluff up the rice with a fork and transfer it to a serving dish. Spoon the turkey curry over the rice and garnish with some chopped coriander or parsley, if you like. Serve with poppadoms, mango chutney, and lime pickle on the side.

Delia Smith Turkey Curry Recipe

Tips to Make Perfect Delia Smith Turkey Curry

Here are some tips and tricks to make this turkey curry even better:

  • Curry Powder Selection: Choose a curry powder that suits your heat preference, adjusting the quantity for mild to fiery results. Delia Smith’s recommendation of Sharwood’s hot curry powder is ideal for a balance of heat and flavor.
  • Protein Variations: Feel free to substitute turkey with other meats like chicken or beef, or go for tofu or chickpeas for a vegetarian twist. Remember to adjust the simmering time to ensure everything is heated through properly.
  • Creamier Texture: Swap desiccated coconut with fresh or canned coconut milk for a smoother, richer curry. Remember to lessen the stock accordingly and add the coconut milk towards the end of cooking.
  • Texture and Flavor Enhancements: Introduce chopped nuts like almonds or cashews for crunch, or dried apricots or dates for a sweet contrast. These additions bring more depth to your curry.
  • Advance Preparation: This curry tastes even better when the flavors have time to meld. Prepare ahead, refrigerate or freeze, and gently reheat for a convenient and tasty meal anytime.

What Do I Serve With Delia Smith Turkey Curry?

Enhance your curry experience with these accompaniments:

  • Basmati Rice: Light, fluffy, and aromatic, it’s the perfect companion for soaking up the sauce.
  • Poppadoms: Add a delightful crunch and contrast to the creamy curry.
  • Mango Chutney and Lime Pickle: For added sweetness and tanginess on the side.
  • Naan Bread: Ideal for scooping up every last bit of that delicious curry.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Delia Smith Turkey Curry:

Achieve the best version of this curry with these tips:

  • Quality of Curry Powder: The choice of curry powder significantly affects the taste. Select one that matches the desired heat level and flavor profile.
  • Meat Alternatives: Turkey can be easily substituted with chicken, beef, or plant-based proteins. Adjust cooking times accordingly.
  • Creaminess Factor: Prefer a creamier curry? Use coconut milk instead of desiccated coconut and adjust the liquid content.
  • Texture Additions: Enhance the dish with nuts or dried fruits for varied texture and taste.

Variations of Delia Smith Turkey Curry:

Try these variations to keep the dish exciting:

  • Creamy Version: Incorporate coconut milk for a richer, smoother sauce.
  • Spicy Kick: Add extra chili powder or fresh chilies to heat things up.
  • Nutty Crunch: Throw in some almonds or cashews for added texture.
  • Veggie Rich: Boost the nutritional content with additional vegetables like bell peppers or peas.

How do I store Delia Smith Turkey Curry Leftovers?

Storing leftovers is simple and ensures prolonged enjoyment:

  • Cooling: Allow the curry to cool to room temperature before storing.
  • Refrigeration: Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Freeze in suitable containers for up to 3 months. Label with the date for reference.

How do I reheat Delia Smith Turkey Curry Leftovers?

Reheating is easy and maintains the dish’s integrity. Here’s how to do it:

  • Stovetop: Reheat on the stove over medium heat until thoroughly warmed. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Microwave: Use a microwave-safe dish, cover, and heat on medium power, stirring periodically until hot throughout.
  • Oven: Place in an oven-safe dish, cover with foil, and warm at a moderate temperature until heated through.

Nutrition value per serving:

  • Calories: 313 kcal
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Carbohydrate: 28 g
  • Protein: 25 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Sugar: 18 g
  • Sodium: 378 mg
  • Potassium: 555 mg
  • Calcium: 38 mg
  • Iron: 2 mg


Can I substitute turmeric with chilli powder?

No, turmeric and chilli powder have different flavors and colors. Turmeric gives the curry a yellow hue and a mild earthy taste, while chilli powder adds heat and a red tint. If you don’t have turmeric, you can use a pinch of saffron or mustard powder instead.

Can I use fresh or canned coconut milk instead of desiccated coconut?

Yes, you can use coconut milk for a creamier sauce, but you need to reduce the amount of stock by half a pint (285 ml) and add the coconut milk at the end, along with the turkey and lemon juice.

Can I use leftover chicken or beef instead of turkey, or tofu or chickpeas for a vegetarian option?

Yes, you can use any cooked meat or protein of your choice, just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Chicken and beef will take less time to reheat than turkey, while tofu and chickpeas will take more time to absorb the flavors of the sauce.

Can I add some chopped nuts, dried fruits, or fresh herbs for some extra texture and flavor?

Yes, you can customize the curry to your liking by adding some chopped almonds or cashews, dried apricots or dates, or chopped coriander or parsley. You can also add some chopped fresh ginger, garlic, or green chillies for some extra spice.

Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make Delia Smith’s turkey curry recipe. It’s a great way to use up your leftover turkey and make a delicious and easy meal for your family and friends. It’s also a wonderful example of Delia Smith’s cooking style, which is simple, comforting, and full of flavor.

If you liked this article, please share it with your friends and leave a comment below. I would love to hear your feedback and suggestions for future topics. Thank you for reading and happy cooking!

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