Indian Ground Turkey with Peas (Murghi Ka Keema)


Hello everyone! Sorry for the week-long lapse between recipes, but you know, Christmas happened and I had lotsa stuff to do. Like watch It’s a Wonderful Life, play board games on Christmas Eve, finish wrapping presents and cook an entire Christmas dinner without managing to get a single picture for my blog. Then I was so exhausted from all of that that I had to spend the next three days sleeping in, reading my new books, going on runs in the fresh air, and watching an entire season of The Office on Netflix. Can you blame me? 😉

Regardless, I’m back with a deeeelicious recipe for you today! And unlike the mass amounts of sweets I’ve been posting lately (cookie dough fudge, anyone?), this is something you can actually eat for dinner! Like, real food. Food that isn’t pure butter and sugar; food that actually contains ingredients from the protein and vegetable sections of the food pyramid.

For Christmas my parents Santa bought me three cookbooks, one of which was Quick and Easy Indian Cooking. I happen to LOVE Indian food now that I’ve grown from a tiny picky eater to a…large…open-minded eater. Maybe not the large part so much…I kinda set myself up for that one. It’s true though, that I used to be a very unadventurous eater.

Example: I was 20 months old. My grandma was taking care of me, and she made up a little tray with cheese and crackers, all cut up and laid out attractively. I took one look, picked it up (which was quite a feat, considering the tray was almost as big as I was) and said, “No like. Raspbewwies, stwahbewwies, and boobewwies, pwease.” <–True story.

Anyway, I’m no longer the kid that refused to eat anything but cheese quesadillas at Mexican restaurants, pasta with butter and parmesan at Italian restaurants, and egg drop soup at Chinese restaurants. Seriously, in first grade we went out for Chinese every Friday night and every time I ordered egg drop soup. And forget about taking me to a Thai place, Greek place, or Indian place. It just wasn’t happening. But now…now…I’ve successfully become an adventurous eater! I’ll eat practically anything, not counting beets, which are my nemesis. Is my nemesis? Are my nemeses? Are my nemesi? What I’m trying to say is, I hate them.

I made this Indian Ground Turkey with Peas the day after Christmas, and it was so. good. It really tasted like it came out of an Indian restaurant! I had to splurge a little to buy two of the spices, but it was totally worth it! If you don’t have the whole spices I’m guessing you could throw in their ground versions, though I can’t vouch that the end product will be quite the same. I have to say that my splurge was a very good investment though, because I know I’ll be making many more recipes from this cookbook! Thank you Santa!


Indian Ground Turkey with Peas

2 Tbs vegetable oil

1-inch cinnamon stick

4 cardamom pods

2 bay leaves

1 small yellow onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

2 tsp fresh grated ginger

1.25 lbs ground turkey or chicken

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

2 Tbs fresh lemon juice

1 tsp garam masala

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp salt


Heat the oil in a wide, deep pan over medium-high heat. Add in the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and bay leaves; stir for about 10 seconds. Add in the onion and sauté until tender, 3-5 minutes. Add in the garlic and stir for about 20 seconds, then add in the ginger and stir for another 20 seconds. Add the ground turkey and cook, stirring often, until cooked through.

Stir in the peas, lemon juice, and spices. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Remove bay leaves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks before serving. *I served this dish over brown rice but I imagine it would be amazing eaten alongside warm naan.

(Recipe slightly adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick & Easy Indian Cooking)


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