Turkish Traffic Light Curry….

Well, it’s not exactly TURKISH, and it’s certainly not ‘curried traffic lights’ of whatever nationality.

I suppose the title’s a tad confooosin’, really.   Ok, let’s explain.

It’s a curry, right?  Good, just so’s we got that straight from the off.

Ok, well, y’see it has a vibrant red, green and orange veg content, like traffic lights…..right?

Clear so far?   Good.

Well, the meat content is turkey.  So, I suppose rather than ‘Turkish’, it ought to be ‘turkey-ish’, with a lower-case t rather than a capital.

Ah well, ne’mind; allow a silly ol’ git to have a bit of a try at food humour (even though it may well have failed).

Oh yes, first an apology:

Empty plate

Anyway, whatever it’s called, wherever it came from, it were actually  friggin’ lovely!

So, here goes:

Curried turkey with extras

Find, for two people:

  • Turkey breast/leg/escalopes/drumstick…. whichever bit of turkey you can get hold of.  Some say “Breast is best”.  Personally, I’m a leg man, but I suppose if we’re talking turkey here, it might be different…
  • 2 onions – I like red, but….
  • 2 red peppers – bell or long. I had bought a big bag of long red peppers at a lovely French market just two days before.  I suppose there was about a dozen of varying sizes, all strange, gnarled shapes,  but lovely’n’fresh.  I’ll happily gnaw away on one of those at any time– good fun.
  • 2 carrots, or one big one.
  • Amount up to you, but I used 8 cloves of lovely fresh, wet garlic that I bought from a rather good French greengrocer on the corner of our boulevard. I suppose it was about half of the big bulb.  Wet, fresh garlic doesn’t have the pungency of the dry garlic that we get in Britland – especially the small Chinese stuff.  I know – I’m a lucky beggar to be able to buy this stuff so easily.  We buy our red wine there too….. about 2 Euros a litre…and it’s gorgeous.
  • Ginger root – fresh. I used about a thumb-and-a-half’s length of good, fresh ginger root.
  • French beans….I never count ‘em.
  • Broccoli, I suppose about eight fairly large florets from a big head of broc (calabrese).
  • Tin chopped tomatoes
  • 4 teaspoons of curry paste from a jar – this one was Sharwoods Balti.
  • About a mug of chicken stock
  • Basmati rice – about a mug full.
  • Water, boiling
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Large frying pan, preferably with a lid, for simmering over a longish period.  You could use a large saucepan instead
  • Medium saucepan, with a lid
  • Small food processor (or a big one….. or just stand there for 5 mins energetically chopping with a sharpened wide-bladed chef’s knife… your choice)


  • Peel and cut the onions. If you want a fine curry, chop them small.  If you like a rustic feel…. (and that’s not a new sex technique; naughty!) ….then cut em up big.
  • Cut the peppers down the centre, remove all seeds, inner white pith, stem etc. Cut into large chunks. (Of course, it’ll taste the same if you chop it small, but you’d lessen the intense red of the traffic lights)
  • Chuck all of those into a large frying pan, oiled, and pop it onto a medium heat.
  • Cut the broc florets and slice ‘em up small, peel the carrot(s) and cut them lengthways, then cut across, obliquely (that’s posh fer ‘at an angle’), top’n’tail the French beans and cut them into inch-long bits. Chuck all those into a saucepan and JUST cover with boiling water.   Pop it onto a high heat; you want to soften them a tad.
  • Keep the onions an’ stuff moving.
  • Peel the garlic and the root ginger (See Tricks’n’Tips for EASY ways of doing both of those tasks), cut into smallish chunks to give the food processor a head start.
  • Pop the garlic & ginger into a small food processor (or a big one….. or just stand there for 5 mins chopping with a sharpened wide-bladed chef’s knife… your choice) and ‘blitz’ until small.
  • Oik the veg out of the boiling water with a slotted spoon, or drain the saucepan through a colander, BUT RETAIN THE WATER! Don’t chuck it away.  Don’t Waste Taste.  Pop the drained veg into the frying pan. Mix.
  • Cut the turkey into whatever sized chunks you want. Pop it all into the frying pan.
  • Add a mug of chicken stock. I used the jelly from a fat cup in the fridge.  It is SO useful to have a fat cup, into which all the waste fats and juices are poured.  Skim the fat off (see Tricks’n’Tips again, as always) and use the jellied stock to boost flavours.    Don’t Waste Taste!
  • Put the contents of the food processor into the frying pan and mix. Ensure that you don’t waste any.
  • Pour about half a mug of the veg water into the processor bowl and then into the frying pan, to swill it out a bit. Keep the rest back to increase the moisture content at the end, should it be necessary.
  • Add the contents of a can of chopped tomatoes. Always make sure that you have plenty of these in stock; these cans of flavour are SO useful – keep a good stock ready for use.
  • Add the curry paste. There are many different ones available, but I used Sharwoods Balti this time.  Only because that was the one already open in the fridge.  You see, that’s what “Approximation Cookery” (i.e. this book) is all about; cooking sensibly, without the major constraints of strictly following a very short and precise recipe that doesn’t allow for variance; cooking doesn’t have to be formulaic.  If it actually MATTERS about quantity, time, etc, I WILL TELL YOU – just relax and have another glass of wine/beer/other beverage.
  • Ok, back to the plot…….“Mix it up and make it nice”, as the saying goes.
  • Set the pan to a low heat, place the lid on and go read a book/watch telly/get fresh with the partner for about half an hour.
  • Stir and replace the lid. Now go and do the same for another half an hour (if you have the stamina….)
  • Stir and taste. Make modifications as necessary.  You have water from the veg, you have seasonings…..
  • Make a batch of Aunty Delia’s Perfect Rice (see the recipe that she has so kindly allowed me to replicate for you earlier in the book…. Just don’t mention Norwich City….. I did once, but I don’t think that she noticed!)
  • Put the rice in the centre of the plate and spoon the curry mixture on top.
  • Before you eat it, take a photo of it and send it to me for this recipe, as I forgot!


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