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Turkey Mussalam


Turkey Mussalam

Turkey Mussalam



Recipe Servings


Recipe Cook Time


Chef Crystal Mendonce shares an authentic recipe of the popular Thanksgving dish, Turkey Mussalam.


  • 1 turkey

    4 onions (medium)

    8 green cardamoms

    5 sticks cinnamon (1")

    8 black cardamom

    10 cloves

    3 bay leaves

    2 liters clear chicken stock

    40 gm butter for basting

    The Marination:
    250 gm yoghurt

    60 gm garlic paste

    60 gm ginger paste

    15 gm red chilly powder

    15 gm salt

    The Filling:
    500 gm chicken mince

    5 gm black cardamom powder (coarsely ground)

    50 gm clarified butter

    16 flakes garlic

    15 gm ginger

    2 green chilly

    2 red chilly (fresh)

    20 gm roasted pistachio

    20 gm almonds

    10 gm royal or black cumin seeds

    5 gm black pepper powder

    5 gm green cardamom powder

    5 gm mace powder

    10 gm salt

    The Gravy:

    75 gm clarified butter

    30 gm garlic paste

    20 gm ginger paste

    250 gm yoghurt

    6 gm coriander powder

    3 gm red chilly powder

    3 gm turmeric powder

    10 gm salt

    60 gm almond paste

    30 gm char magaz/ melon seed paste

    60 gm fried onion paste

    1.5 gm green cardamom powder

    1 gm Mace Powder

    1 gm Saffron

    10ml Rose Water

    The Garnish:
    3 eggs, boiled and shelled.

    12 toasted pistachios

    12 cashew nut halves                                         

    16 toasted almonds

    0.25 gm saffron


The Turkey: Clean, remove the neck and the skin. Make small gashes on the entire surface.
The Marination: Whisk yoghurt in a bowl, add the remaining ingredients, mix well. Evenly rub the turkey with this marinade and set aside for at least an hour (preferably overnight).
The Filling: Wash green and red chillies. Slit, de-seed and finely chop. Heat ghee in a kadhai/wok, add the garlic and ginger pastes and bhunno/stir-fry over medium heat until the moisture evaporates.

Add the mince and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Remove, cool, add the remaining ingredients, mix well.
The Stuffing: Stuff the abdominal cavity of the turkey with the filling and the eggs from the tail end, then double up the legs, ensuring that drumsticks cover the opening through which the filling was stuffed and tie firmly with string.

Gently twist the winglet bones to make the bird more stable when placed on its back.
The Mire Poix:  Peel, wash and slice onions.
The Gravy: Whisk yoghurt in a bowl, add coriander, red chillies and turmeric and salt, mix well and keep aside.  Crush the saffron threads with a pestle or the back of a spoon, soak in rosewater and then make a paste.
The Garnish: Dissolve saffron flakes in lukewarm water and when the water turns saffron, put almond flakes to enable them to acquire a saffron hue.
The Oven:  Pre-heat to 375 F.


Spread the onions in a large handi/pot. Sprinkle both the cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves, arrange the stuffed turkey on top.

Pour the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to low heat.

Cover and simmer for 50 minutes. Remove and arrange the turkey on a greased roasting tray and reserve the jus for the gravy.
To prepare the gravy, heat ghee in a handi/pan, add the garlic and ginger pastes,    bhunno/stir-fry until the moisture evaporates. 

Remove handi/pan from heat, stir-in the yoghurt mixture, return handi/pan to heat, bhunno/stir-fry over medium heat until specs of fat leaves the sides. 

Then add the almond and char magaz pastes, bhunno/stir-fry until the fat leaves the sides, add the fried onion paste and bhunno/stir-fry until the fat leaves the sides. Add the reserved jus.

Bring to a boil, reduce to low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes. 

Remove and pass the gravy through a fine-mesh soup strainer into a separate handi/pan.

Return gravy to heat, bring to a boil, reduce to low heat and simmer until of sauce consistency. 

Sprinkle the cardamom and mace powders, stir, add the saffron, stir, remove and adjust the seasoning.

The Finishing:

Pour the gravy over the turkey arranged in the roasting tray and cook in the pre-heated oven, basting with butter at regular intervals for 20-25 minutes or until the turkey is fully cooked and the gravy becomes brown. 

Remove, untie the turkey and reserve the gravy.

To Serve: 

Carve the turkey on a clean chopping board.

Scoop a dollop of the stuffing on a plate and arrange 2-3 slices of the turkey on the stuffing.

Pour some gravy on the top.

Garnish with egg slices, pistachio, cashew nuts, toasted almonds and saffron threads and serve with pulao rice or any bread of your choice.

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Key Ingredients: Turkey, cashew nuts, egg, mace, turmeric, red chilli, coriander powder, yogurt, clarified butter, black cumin, green chillies, onion, green cardamom, cinnamon, black cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, chicken, butter, garlic, ginger, chilly powder, salt, pistac