The cool weather outside and the hot cup of chai in my hand kindles my pleasant memories and enthusiasm to write a lot. So here is some blah blah about my home town and its Turkey curry:)
I was born and brought up in a small town called Palayamkottai in Tirunelveli ( Wikipedia : Palayamkottai ) , It has a bunch of schools and colleges founded by the Jesuit priests and Belgium nuns. Even today , we can see Belgium nuns teaching / managing the convents and hospitals there and we can smell the freshly baked breads from their pantry.
Most of the immigrants have returned to their homeland leaving behind their cuisines and memories. But few descendants of British, French, Dutch, settlers and Anglo Indians are still living there. Obviously they spread their culture there. The first thing they brought India was their tasty recipes like bread, cakes , coffee with beaten egg , black coffee, macaroons, biscuits, chicken fries etc.
(Still Palayamkottai and Tuticorin are famous for their bakeries.)
Just like that the turkey recipes also got introduced there by them .We fused the turkey with briyani and curries to suit our taste buds.
Here is a typical Palayamkottai recipe for the Turkey curry .
Turkey thighs - 2 lb
Onion - 1 (big)
curry leaf - 1 brig
cilantro , mint leaf - a handful
tomato - 2
fennel seeds - 1 tsp
To grind :
fresh / dry Ginger - 2 inch
garlic - 4 pods
shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
poppy seeds - 1 tsp
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
cinnamon - 1 inch
cardamom - 2
cloves - 4
fennel seeds - 1 tsp
black pepper - 1 tsp
chilly powder - 1tsp
coriander powder - 2 tbsp
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Choose Turkey thighs for making a kulambu / gravy. Drumsticks and boneless meat do not taste that good for this preparation.
Wash and clean the turkey . Chop it into big chunks. If possible break the bone into two, so that the curry becomes more soupy.
Place it in a pressure pan.Add water just to immerse the meat.
Add turmeric powder, chilly powder and coriander powder.
Pressure cook it for 1 whistle, then reduce flame and keep it in low flame for 5 minutes.
Remove the skin of ginger and garlic and grind them to a fine paste.
(If dry ginger is used, soak it 1 for hour before grinding.) Keep aside.
Separately grind the other items given to grind in 2. keep aside.
Heat oil in a wok. Add fennel seeds. After it becomes red, add the chopped onion and fry well till it becomes golden brown.
Then add the chopped tomatoes and cook till it becomes mushy.
Now add the ginger garlic paste and fry well.
Then add the cooked turkey pieces along with its soup (water added becomes a soupy liquid).
Now add the Paste 2. Add all the powders mentioned above.
Let it boil till the raw smell vanishes. Check for salt and turn off heat.
Serve hot with roti, chapathi or cooked rice.
You may be wondering, why I have served loaves of bread along with Turkey.
Here is a story behind it:)
My Grandpa worked as an advocate in Tirunelveli. He lived in the ages when they had to interact a lot with British. He had a friend called Mr.Walter, who introduced this idea of having bread with turkey or duck curry to them. Those were the days when Chapathi didnt make its way down south. Later on it became something usual to serve fresh untoasted bread along with non veg kulambu in the 'court's bar council' parties (just like our rotis), as it is the comfort food for immigrants. Even now , we can see people having untoasted fresh bread with chicken/ goat/ any non veg curry for dinner in my native place . What a lovely fusion of Western bread with Indian curry? Isn't it.I love this combination very much. Funny to hear that .right?
But believe me , even now you can smell the fresh bread from the convent's kitchen if you go around the palayamkottai bus stand in the evenings :)
People could have migrated but their taste buds remain the same!