Holiday leftovers create a savory curry

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Indians love a festive celebration. In fact, my family loved them so much that not only would we celebrate Diwali and Holi, we'd also throw ourselves into Easter and Christmas. I even remember my mum getting excited about Chinese New Year.

Christmas often was bigger for us than Diwali because both sides of the family had a couple weeks off to relax, meet up and celebrate. We embraced it fully, from searching out the biggest turkey in town to acquiring a 10-foot Nordic Christmas tree that would barely fit into our living room. In the background, our Elvis Christmas vinyl record would be brought out and lovingly spun on repeat.

The Christmas meal was almost entirely free of Indian food, with the exception of a little cumin on the roast potatoes. Boxing Day — the day after Christmas — was always a different story. This was the day to rush back to the comforting smells and tastes of our spice tin. And after much experimentation, this leftover turkey and Brussels sprout Boxing Day curry has become a Sodha family classic.

Like all good Boxing Day dishes, it's sympathetic to the Christmas chef. It kindly hoovers up ingredients left from the day before, as well as bits and pieces from the cupboard, and it won't have you slaving away for hours. What you'll be left with is a bright and warming curry flavored with tomatoes, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. Just what the doctor ordered after a day of serious indulgence.

Boxing Day curry with leftover turkey and brussels sprouts

Fresh Brussels sprouts add a lovely crunch, greenery and freshness to this dish, but you also can use your cooked leftover sprouts. Just chop them into quarters so they don't turn into mush.

Start to finish: 35 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

6 whole cloves

1 large white onion, sliced into rings

4 cloves garlic, minced

1-inch chunk fresh ginger, grated

14 1/2-ounce can chopped tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

2 cups roughly chopped leftover roasted turkey

1 cup fresh Brussels sprouts, finely shredded

Kosher salt

Cooked rice, to serve

Plain Greek yogurt, to serve

Directions:

In a large skillet over medium, heat the oil until hot. Add the cloves and onion, then cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions have turned golden brown and are caramelized. Don't be afraid to give them some time, their sweetness will pay back in this dish.

Add the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring often, for a couple of minutes, then mix in the chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water. Cover the skillet and leave to cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it has become a rich, thick sauce. Stir in the garam masala, cinnamon, black pepper and chili powder. Add the turkey pieces and the shredded Brussels sprouts, then stir. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. The sprouts should still be fresh and green, but slightly wilted.

If the mixture is too dry, stir in another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. Season with salt. Serve hot with rice and a little yogurt on the side.

Nutrition information per serving: 350 calories; 130 calories from fat (37 percent of total calories); 15 g fat (2.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 35 mg cholesterol; 860 mg sodium; 37 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 19 g protein.

Meera Sodha is an Indian foods expert and author of "Made in India: Recipes from an Indian family kitchen." She lives in London, blogs at www.meerasodha.com and tweets at @meerasodha


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