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Cyrus’s Turkey Tikka

by Cyrus Todiwala, Tony Singh from The Incredible Spice Men

A twist on the traditional tikka masala recipe, featuring healthy turkey breast. Serve the Indian-inspired kebabs with minty yoghurt and toasted naan breads.

From the book

Cyrus Todiwala, Tony Singh


Tikkas are Indian dishes of small pieces of meat or vegetables marinated in a spice mixture. There are several variations to the original tikka recipe, and you can use your own imagination to create more interesting kebabs. This basic chicken tikka marinade can be used for various poultry meats. Here we use turkey breast, but if you were to try chicken instead, you could use leg meat too.

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8oog (1lb 14oz) boneless turkey breast, skin removed
1 tsp turmeric
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the marinade:
150g (5oz) natural full-fat yoghurt
4cm (1½in) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled
4 garlic cloves
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp lime juice
½ tsp garam masala
2 mild fresh green chillies (optional), seeds removed if liked, roughly chopped
2 tbsp sunflower oil or rapeseed oil
20g (¾oz) butter, melted
Salt and ground white pepper

Essential kit

You will need: 8-10 metal skewers and a blender.


Cut the turkey into 3.5cm (1½in) cubes. Rub in the turmeric and some salt and pepper and set aside in the fridge while you make the marinade.

Spoon half of the yoghurt into a blender and add all of the remaining ingredients apart from the butter, then blend until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and whisk in the remaining yoghurt. Rub this mixture well into the turkey and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight if time permits.

If you like, you can thread the marinated turkey onto 8-10 metal skewers. To cook, place under a medium grill with a drip tray below, or chargrill on a medium barbecue; either way, cook the turkey for 5-7 minutes if in loose pieces (about 15 minutes if skewered), or until the juices run clear, repeatedly turning and basting with the melted butter for a juicy appearance.

Note: The turkey can also be cooked in the oven at 190°C/375°F/gas 5, but the result is not so pleasing.


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