Spicy Roasted Turkey


Hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving. I came to know about this bird from the novel, “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens, where turkey is eaten for Christmas. I have never tasted or prepared one before. On a fine evening, Anish came back to home with turkey fully covered in his hands. I was really excited to see that special bird, served for thanksgiving here. He himself placed it on the kitchen counter. I let it thaw until everyone went to bed with a thought that I could concentrate well on it. 


With enthusiasm, I removed its cover and tried to lift it. At that point, I felt that I got stuck in the middle of sea. I could not lift the bird as it was too heavy. It was a little tricky job to remove the tag inside the turkey. Slowly I got transferred from a “war” feel to “Its Okay…I can do it” belief. Then everything went well and fine. Thanks a lot my dear friend Roopa Jithesh for giving me the idea of brine. Some other non vegetarian recipes here are orange glazed smoked ham and Shrimp roast.

Turkey (9 to 11 pound/ 4 to 5 kg)

1 ½ table spoons of fennel seeds
1 cinnamon stick
8 cloves
4 tablespoons of black pepper powder
6 star anise
2 onions diced
4 to 6 liters of water and some ice cubes to cool
2 ½ inches of ginger (crushed well)
2 pots of garlic (crushed  and some diced)
3 teaspoons of cayenne pepper or red chili powder
3 teaspoons of coriander powder
½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
2 tablespoons of maple syrup (optional)
Salt to taste (Slightly more than taste-good level)
1 orange diced

1/3 teaspoon turmeric powder
11/2  teaspoon red chili powder
2 teaspoon black pepper powder
2 teaspoon of coriander powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
Salt to taste 

3 tablespoons of maple syrup
6 tablespoons of butter

A big cooking pot to immerse turkey or a brine bag or a plastic bucket (so that turkey is fully immersed in it) or a baking dish, enough to hold turkey immersed in brine. 

Baker thread

Untie turkey and clean it well .Remove the liver parts and neck. Place it on a dry kitchen towel and dry it.

Mix all marinade ingredients except orange well and check for salt. Carefully lift the skin and insert your hand in between the skin and flesh on both sides and rub the marinade. 

Poke some holes into the flesh inside the skin with a knife (in both sides, to the maximum possible areas) without making any damage to the skin.  Take some marinade in your fingers and rub into its flesh, in every possible corner your fingers reaches. Be careful for not damaging the skin. 

In a large cooking pot mix all the brine ingredients, except orange together in 4 cups of water and let it just boil on medium low heat. You can smell the aroma of spices. Take away from heat. Let it cool to room temperature. Add remaining cups of water (cold) with some ice cubes and diced orange.

 If you are using a brine bag, transfer the liquid into the brine bag and immerse turkey completely into it. I didn’t get a brine bag, so I used a large disposable aluminum baking dish.  If the turkey could not be fully submerged, then place the turkey so that its breast side is in the down position, in the brine. 

If your weather is cold, then place it in your kitchen counter on the coolest spot (Far from stove or oven). Else you need to think of refrigeration. Keep it for 1 or 2 days.

When ready to bake, turkey must be taken from the brine, pat it dry and brought down to room temperature. 

Prepare the glaze:
In a sauce pan, on medium heat, mix butter and maple syrup. Stir continuously until butter is melted and well mixed.

Tie legs with baking thread. Brush the turkey throughout with the prepared glaze. 

Preheat your oven to 425 0F and bake turkey for 30 minutes. Turn down the temperature to 3500F and continue baking for 2 1/2 hrs. For the last half hour, turn up the temperature to 450 0F and continue cooking. After every 45 minutes, brush turkey with glaze . (Depending upon the oven, the cooking time may vary. It took totally 3 hrs for mine)


This recipe is spicy one. To balance the spiciness with a little sweetness, you may add maple syrup.  (I added maple syrup). But do not add it if you require a salty and spicy taste.


By Gods grace, the turkey came out beautiful with the aroma of spices and decorated well on our dinner table. I was so delightful to see my loved one’s really loved it……!!!You may try this spicy version of turkey for the coming Christmas and enjoy its goodness….!!!!

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