Leftover turkey biryani

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Hari Ghotra’s aromatic turkey biryani is a fantastic way to use leftover turkey after Christmas. To make the dish, she sandwiches the curry between two layers of rice, before baking it in the oven until piping hot and wonderfully fragrant.

First published in 2015

The recipe below makes individual portions but you could easily make this as one large dish if preferred. To do so, grease a large lidded casserole dish with butter or oil and place a third of the rice in the bottom. Pour over some of the saffron milk, and top with a teaspoon of ghee, a few of the reserved onions and a sprinkle of coriander. Spoon over half of the turkey sauce mixture, then add another layer of rice, saffron milk, ghee, onions and coriander, then the remaining turkey mixture and finish with the final layer of rice, milk, ghee, onions and coriander. Cover the casserole with the lid and bake in the oven for 30–40 minutes, until piping hot all the way through.




Saffron milk



Assembling the biryani

To serve

  • 1 red onion, sliced


Begin by making the saffron milk. Combine the saffron and milk and leave it to steep and infuse
Rinse the rice under running water until the water runs clear, then place in a pan with 500ml of cold water. Bring to the boil and cook until the water is absorbed. The rice should be slightly underdone. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly
Fluff the rice with a fork, working your way to the bottom, then transfer to a large bowl to fully cool
To make the masala, melt the ghee in a medium saucepan and add the sliced onion rings. Cook over a medium heat until caramelised and dark golden brown, for about 20 minutes
Remove half the caramelised onions and set to one side for assembling the dish. Add the ginger, garlic, bay leaves, chillies, cassia bark, black peppercorns, coriander, cumin, cardamom, salt and turmeric to the pan and sauté for a few minutes or until fragrant
Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook until they break down, stirring continuously, to make a thick masala sauce
Finally, add the cooked turkey to the pan and heat through for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside
Preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line a large baking tray with baking paper
Lightly grease six ring moulds with a little butter or oil then place on to the lined baking tray. Add a layer of rice to each ring so that it comes up to about a third full
Divide the saffron milk between the rings, sprinkling over the rice layer, then top each with a teaspoon each of the ghee, caramelised onions and chopped coriander, reserving the rest of the onions and coriander for garnishing
Add a layer of the turkey masala to each mould and finish with a second layer of rice, pressing into the moulds. Add a drizzle of ghee and top each with the remaining caramelised onions, then bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until piping hot
Garnish each ring with the remaining chopped coriander then carefully slide off the rings and serve with finely sliced red onions on the side
First published in 2015

Hari Ghotra creates delicious recipes, videos and facts that will demystify the secrets of Indian cooking so you can create, share and enjoy fabulous Indian food in your home.

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