Jul 29 2012

Turkey in a creamy lemon sauce on rice

Category: RecipesDave @ 17:02

Preparation time: about 40 minutes

Another one of those spur-of-the moment dishes that happens when you look through the cupboards, fridge & freezer and find everything in there boring – a kind of food ennui. This very easy to make and is a good summer supper.

Ingredients (for 4 people)

  • 500g turkey breast in cubes around 2 cm on a side
  • ½ a medium onion, roughly chopped or the equivalent in spring onions (scallions)
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 150g mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • ½ long sweet red pepper, roughly chopped
  • One large aubergine (eggplant), cut into cubes around 2cm on a side
  • A few handfuls of spinach leaves – as much as you want to use
  • ¾ coffee spoon ground cumin
  • ¼~½ coffee spoon paprika (depending on how spicy you prefer it).
  • Vegetable stock cube made up in sufficient water for the rice
  • 16 – 20 saffron stamens, finely chopped or ground in a pestle & mortar (or use ready-powdered) then steeped in hot water for at least 5 minutes.
  • Sufficient rice for four people (you could use pasta instead, in which case omit the stock and saffron)
  • 4 coffee spoons honey (nothing too strong-flavoured) or guava syrup or a couple of teaspoons palm sugar
  • One pot of full cream lemon yoghurt (preferably the type with lemon zest). Don’t use low/no fat yoghurt or it won’t be creamy!
  • Salt to taste
  • EV olive oil
  • Zest of one small lemon (or a lime)


  1. Place the aubergine in a bowl, sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt, cover with water and place a plate on top to keep all the cubes under the water. Ideally, this should be done a couple of hours in advance (and change the water after an hour or so) but 30 minutes will remove the worst of the aubergine’s bitterness if you change the water after 15 minutes.
  2. Add the saffron stamens/water to the stock. Take the stock, the rice and a suitable pan and cook the rice using your favourite method. Try and time it so that the rice is be ready at about the same time the sauce is.
  3. Pour enough oil into a large sauté pan to cover the bottom when it’s well spread. Add the shallots and onions/spring onions and cook over a high-ish heat for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the peppers and mushrooms and cook for another few minutes. Add the cumin powder, paprika and salt to taste (¼ coffee spoon is a good place to start). Stir well in. Add more oil if the spices have stolen most of the first lot of oil.
  4. Add the aubergine pieces, turn the light up and, effectively, stir fry them, tossing them in the onions/mushrooms/peppers, until they start to go brown. Turn down the heat to medium and add the turkey pieces; continue to stir fry for 10 minutes.
  5. After 5 minutes, throw in the spinach leaves >and stir in.
  6. Sprinkle the honey/guava syrup/palm sugar over the mixture and stir in. Taste to test it. It should still be slightly sharp as the yoghurt will add more sweetness.
  7. Stir in the yoghurt and lemon/lime zest; continue to stir fry for another 2 or 3 minutes. Turn out the heat and put a lid on the pan.
  8. Check that rice is done. If not, leave it a few minutes more. Once it’s completely cooked, share it out into large bowls (e.g. pasta bowls) then spoon the “sauce” over it and serve.


  • The turkey can be substituted with duck but use orange or cherry yoghurt instead. Use orange zest for orange yoghurt and no zest for the cherry one.
  • Fairly obviously, the turkey can be substituted by chicken.
  • Different flavours of yoghurt might make interesting variations, as would varying the spices used.

Updated and errors corrected April, 2015

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