Last week, I had the opportunity to meet Cyrus Todiwala, one of award-winning chefs from the Incredible Spice Men on BBC2, at his restaurant Cafe Spice Namaste.
Cyrus used his incredible cooking skills to demonstrate that British Turkey is not only for Christmas, it should be enjoyed all year round as it is tasty, versatile and healthy. I must admit that although we have turkey a couple of times a month, we don’t have it as much as chicken. I enjoy making curries with turkey, so I was looking forward to tasting Cyrus’ fantastic menu.
Our lovely evening started with a brief introduction from Paul Kelly, a turkey farmer, on how long it takes to raise a turkey and other interesting facts. Cyrus then gave us a cooking demonstration using turkey liver and turkey neck, while explaining that spices should be cooked in oil to release flavours into the dish.
I’ve never tried turkey liver and neck before, but I tried chicken ones, and it tastes quite similar. The turkey neck (Khari Gurdun) was cooked simply in whole spices flavoured sauce, and it was very tasty. We even tried omelette with turkey eggs, showing that they can be used in the same way as chicken eggs, and also delicious turkey meatball.
After Cyrus demonstration, we were treated to an Indian feast with turkey starters, trio of Turkey tikkas, turkey main course and a dessert. The whole meal was very tasty and each course was nicer than the previous one!
For starters, we had three little delights on our plate: Turkey Sheek Kavaab Omelette Roll, turkey minced with fresh ginger, garlic, chillies, and spices, formed over a skewer, chargrilled and served rolled in a turkey egg omelette. Mini Turkey Masala Pie, which is dice turkey cooked with chopped shallots, tomato and spices, filled in mini pastry cases, topped with chilli and cumin mash and baked.
Bhuna Turkey Dosa, which is a rice and lentil pancake filled with diced turkey cooked in a traditional bhuna masala. The starter was full of flavour, the different dishes on the plate worked very well together and complimented each other.
The trio of turkey tikkas had three marinated tikkas of turkey: one hot as in peri-peri, Cafreal in a fresh green masala, and Malai mild with cream and cheese.
Our main course consisted of a selection of different dishes, including Leeli Kolmi ni Curry, which is a light green curry with fresh coconut and cashew nuts simmered with sustainably sourced red sea king praws.
Turkey chilly fry, turkey strips, tossed in typical Goan style with sliced shallot, spring onions, chilli, ginger and garlic with cumin in a light sauce. Vagharaela Chaawal, rice flavoured with cumin and caramelised onion, and Potato Dosa Bhajee, simple south style potato preparation flavoured with cracked mustard seeds, white lentil and curry seeds.
After our meal of turkey dishes, we were treated to a lovely dessert of saffron ginger and cardamom crème brulee made with turkey eggs and fresh fruit salad cup.
I had a fantastic evening, delicious food, and I left convinced that I should use turkey more, it is a very tasty meat after all! It was great meeting Cyrus Todiwala and other bloggers including Filipa Kay, Kip Hakes, Rosana McPhee and Annie Hall.