Tandoori Turkey Recipe

By Marcus Samuelsson |

This year, make your Thanksgiving dinner anything but predictable! Since turkey makes its presence known at the Thanksgiving spread, why not give it a fetching flavor to match? Perhaps something bold and bright like ‘Tandoori Turkey’. I like to think of it as the turkey with an Eastern promise! Succulent slices of turkey that have been bathed for hours in a spiced yogurt marinade of ginger, chili, and fenugreek will leave you without any leftovers for those ‘next day’ turkey sandwiches.

Adapted from Bon Appetit



2 tbsp Tandoori Paste (Pataks)
4 cups plain yogurt
1 tsp dried mint
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
2 tbsp grated ginger
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tsp garam masala (available at your local grocery store)
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup of vegetable oil

Stuffing and Turkey

1 14-18 pound turkey
2 tsp salt
1 black cardamom pods
4 green cardamom pods
1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
2 medium red onions, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup of boiled brown rice
1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup of dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts


Photo: chooyutshing

  1. Combine all marinade ingredients and smear the turkey with the marinade. Refrigerate the turkey for 24 hours.
  2. To cook the turkey, remove from refrigerator and allow the chill to escape. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Fill the cavity with the stuffing ingredients; cook covered in a roasting pan, breast side up for about 4 hours. Remove the foil to allow the turkey to crisp up (approximately 30 minutes)
  4. Baste occasionally.
  5. Insert a knife in to the thickest part of the joint, if juices run clear, the turkey is cooked (if inserted by the thigh, temperature should read 180 degrees). Remove from roasting pan and allow to stand, to let the juices redistribute.
  6. Reserve any juices from the roasting pan to use as a gravy.