Turkey Jalfrezi (British Indian • Dairy Free • Gluten free)

Turkey Jalfrezi
Do you know about a 100 year old curry created just for using leftover meat? Jalfrezi it is. This spicy, sweet and tangy curry has crisp onions, peppers and juicy turkey in every bite. One of the most popular dishes in UK Indian restaurants.

Jalfrezi recipes originally appeared in cookbooks of the British Raj as a way of using up leftovers by frying them in chilli and onion. As you can see, the British loved their meat and tomatoes, and they loved to combine their British style cooking with Indian spices. Whatever be the reason behind its birth, this is an amazing curry bursting with flavor that makes one forget that the meat was precooked. Feel free to use any leftover meat. I am using Turkey, because it is Thanksgiving here in the US 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!


  • Tomato did not come directly to India, but by way of Engalnd at a late but uncertain date, perhaps around 1850.
  • If you want to maximize the availability of vitamin C, carotenoids and antioxidants from bell pepper, allow this amazing vegetable to ripen. Whether green, red, yellow, or orange, optimally ripe bell peppers will have deep, vivid colors, feel heavy for their size, and be firm enough to yield only slightly to pressure.

Cuisine: British Indian
Serves: 4 Adults

Ingredients Quantity
To Fry the Turkey (Optional if using precooked turkey)
Oil 2 tbsp  
Turkey (raw or precooked) 1 lb
Chilli Powder 1 tsp  Or use paprika for a mild version.
Coriander Powder 1 tsp
Cumin Powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Salt (add only if raw meat is used) 1 tsp
Vegetables to Sauté
Oil 1 tbsp
Onion (Julienned) 1 cup
Pepper (Julienned) 1 cup
Oil 3 tbsp
Onion (chopped)  1 cup
Cloves of Garlic (minced) 2
Green Chillies-Slit (Optional) 2  Omit for mild curry
Chilli Powder 1 tbsp  Or use 1 tsp Paprika for mild curry
Coriander Powder 1 tbsp
Cumin Powder 1 tsp
 Turmeric Powder  1/2 tsp
 Tomatoes (Chopped)  2 cups
 Salt  1/2 tsp
Garnish (Optional)
 Garam Masala  1 tsp  
 Cilantro (Chopped)  1/4 cup


  1. This curry is made in 3 steps as seen in the ‘Ingredients’ table above. We will fry the turkey, sauté the vegetables, make the sauce and then combine everything together.
  2. First, Cut the turkey to around 1 inch pieces and marinate it with all the spices mentioned under “To Fry the Turkey”, except oil.
  3. Heat a pan on medium heat and add the 2 tbsp oil.
  4. When oil is hot, add the turkey pieces and fry them 1 min on each side if using precooked turkey or 2-4 mins on each side for raw turkey till it is fully cooked (internal temperature should read 165 deg F).
  5. Remove the turkey and add 1 tbsp oil to the pan. I always keep eating this fried turkey throughout the making of this curry 🙂 . It should be a recipe by itself.
  6. When oil is hot, add julienned onions and peppers. Saute till onions turn translucent and then remove from heat.
  7. Now, lets start making the yummy sauce. Add 3 tbsp oil.
  8. When oil is hot, add the chopped onions.
  9. When onions are translucent, add minced garlic and green chillies.
  10. When raw smell of garlic disappears, add all the spices and keep stirring for around 30 seconds. Make sure not to burn the spices. If you are in doubt, add 1 tbsp water along with the spices.
  11. Add chopped tomatoes & salt and simmer for 10 mins.
  12. Mash the onion tomato mixture and add 1 1/2 cups of water. Simmer for another 10 mins.
  13. Add the fried turkey, sauteed onions and peppers. Cover and simmer for 10 mins.
  14. Just before serving, garnish with garam masala and chopped cilantro.

This curry goes very well with roti, parotta or Basmati Rice. Enjoy!


  • If you are in a rush, and have precooked turkey, feel free to omit frying the turkey. This will affect the texture of the meat in your curry, but the taste will still be great.
  • You can use any leftover meat for this curry. May be Chicken Tikka? Dont forget to let me know if you guys try this one out. 🙂


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jalfrezi
  • A historical dictionary of Indian Food, by K.T.Achaya
  • Collingham, Lizzie (2006). Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 138.

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