Cook: Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Curry

Guess what! Its a cooking post and I’m writing it! What a crazy topsy turvey world we live in. Let me explain. As Phil shared yesterday, this weekend we find ourselves the proud owners of a very snazzy new camera, which I have no idea how to use yet, but promise to start learning about this evening. So, while Phil spent the afternoon happily snapping everything and anything in our house to get a better idea what each of the settings do, I found myself in a rare position: a weekend afternoon and the kitchen all to myself (which, believe me, really is rare with Phil around). So, I decided it was high time I did some cooking of my own, and what better for the Saturday after Thanksgiving ….. leftover turkey  …. leftover turkey and sweet potato curry to be precise. Now we don’t live in the US but we can cook us some turkey with the best of them, so we had plenty to spare.

The recipe is a tried and true family favorite, I found it a long time ago in a magazine, but has changed and evolved over the years we have been using it. It doesn’t often come out the same twice, but is always creamy and delicious. Also, I wouldn’t really call it a curry in the traditional sense of the word, but it has lots of yummy flavours and is warming for a windy night (which it is here in Edinburgh). Also, as a side note, we have called it leftover turkey curry, but it works just as well with turkey which isn’t leftover, or with chicken, or just with veg if your so inclined.

So, here goes ….

Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Curry


2 large onions, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 inch of root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

Spices – here’s where we get a bit loosey goosey with the recipe. We usually add a good mix of whatever I find in the spice cupboard, but for the sake of argument here is what I used tonight ….. not traditional, but it works for us. If you don’t have a cupboard full of spices, just a good garam masala works well too.

 – Whole Spices: 5-6 Cardamon Pods , 5-6 whole cloves, 1/4 teaspoon black onion seeds, 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds,

 – Powered Spices: 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon cumin. 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon mild chilli powder,  1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. 

1 red chili, seeds removed and finely chopped

1 red pepper (or really any other vegetables of your choice)

3 medium-ish sweet potatos, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

around 1/2 cup of precooked turkey per person, stripped off the bone (we de-skin it to because we don’t like when it goes flabby)

1 can of coconut milk

1 pint of chicken stock 

1. Onions – First things first, slowly soften your onions over a low heat until translucent (I was once told the slower the better when it comes to onions for curries, so they get good and translucent rather than brown and fried). Always use a flavourless oil cooking curry rather than the usual olive oil as it’s flavour doesn’t quite work with the spices.

2. Ginger, Garlic and Spices – After the onions have cooked down, add the chili, ginger and garlic. Then add the spices, adding the whole spices first (giving them a minute to get all good and popped and aromatic), then add the powdered spices, stirring all the time to make sure they don’t stick.

3. Chili, Vegetables and Turkey – Once my spices have had a minute to cook through I add my red pepper (or other veg), sweet potato and cooked turkey, mixing well so everything gets a good thorough coating of the spice mix, and cooking on medium heat for 4 minutes to allow the veg, potatoes and meat to get lots of good spice flavor in them.

4. Coconut Milk and Chicken Stock – The final step is to add your can of coconut milk, chicken stock and then let it gently simmer for around  1/2 hour until the sweet potato is softened and the sauce has reduced to a good gravy consistency. Season to taste.

5. Serve – Thats all, serve and eat. Usually we eat it with rice or naan breads. It’s also worth saying that the curry freezes and reheats really well, so you can even have leftovers from your leftovers!

Hope your all having a lovely Sunday! Fear not, the kitchen is back in Phil’s hands in the morning.

About Cook Quilt Make and Bake

Hi, I'm Sam, he's Phil. Welcome to our blog where we share our fun down time projects. We're just a young couple, happily cooking, making, quilting and baking our way through life and love. You're welcome to stop by and share the good times!
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4 Responses to Cook: Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Curry

  1. This sounds wonderful! I have been looking for a reipe to use up some leftover turkey.

  2. Wightbookwitch says:

    Could you come and make me a curry please!

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