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Coconut Turkey Curry with Chickpeas

Updated: May 26, 2020

I love making curry in my cocina! Whether Thai, Indian, or Caribbean, most curries are delectable one-pot meals that pack loads of bold flavor. This one also happens to get an A+ in the nutrition department, AND it’s ready in under 30 minutes. This may not be the most traditional curry recipe on the web, but it’s certainly tasty. The process starts by frying chickpeas- if you’re smart, you’ll double the amount required because these crispy garbanzos are soooo addictive! I always eat most of them before I’m done cooking... oops. You want to make sure that the chickpeas are very dry before you fry, otherwise your stovetop and blouse will get splattered with neon yellow hot turmeric oil. Drain the chickpeas in a colander and then give them a vigorous pat down with paper towels to blot dry. The rest of the dish comes together in a jiffy- the chickpeas are removed to a plate to drain, the aromatics and spices sauté briefly, then the turkey is added to brown. Creaminess comes from a can of full fat coconut milk. Everything simmers together for 10 min and then it’s time to garnish and serve! The spice profile in this dish is complex but mild- if you would like to make things spicier, dial up the amount of chili pepper. I can’t eat curry without a few condiments, and the ones listed here are not to be missed. The shredded kale (or cabbage) may sound odd, but it adds great crunch and freshness to the dish- trust me! I hope that you enjoy this delicious, healthy, and EASY curry recipe.


prep time: 15 min. cook time: 25 min. serves: 4


1/4 cup avocado oil

1-15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and dried well

2 tsp curry powder, divided

2 tsp turmeric, divided

1 large shallot or small red onion, small diced

1 serrano pepper, minced

1-2” piece of ginger, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb ground turkey

1-15 oz can of full fat unsweetened coconut milk

kosher salt


3 cups thinly shredded kale or cabbage massaged with a little salt, lime wedges, cilantro, toasted coconut flakes, greek yogurt, reserved fried chickpeas, and/or rice



Heat the avocado oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. When it’s hot, carefully add the chickpeas (if they aren’t super dry, the oil will splatter so be cautious). Add 1/2 tsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric, and 1/2 tsp salt to the chickpeas and stir to evenly coat. Fry the chickpeas until they are deeply brown all over and crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer them with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to drain and carefully pour out and discard all but 1 tbsp of the oil.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the the shallot, cooking until it begins to soften 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and serrano pepper and cook stirring frequently 2 minutes more, until fragrant. Next, add in the turkey and season with 1 tsp of salt, the remaining turmeric, and remaining curry powder. Break the meat up with a spoon and cook until it is no longer pink. Return half of the fried chickpeas to the skillet and add in the coconut milk. Stir to combine and allow to simmer 10 minutes, until the flavors have melded and the curry is thick and creamy.

Meanwhile, add a pinch of salt to the kale or cabbage in a medium bowl and massage the leaves until they are dark and beginning to soften. Allow to sit 10 minutes.

When the curry is done, check for seasoning and serve over steamed rice (if desired) and garnish with the massaged kale, chopped cilantro, toasted coconut, a dollop of Greek yogurt, a lime wedge and extra chickpeas. Serve warm. *note: the curry can be made up to a day ahead and gently reheated. Add a little water to “loosen” it up if it’s gotten too thick.

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