Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Eat for a Week, Episode 18: Curry Turkey Porcupines

I always loved it when Mom would make Beef Porcupines. Due to my MSG allergy, it's not something I'm willing to eat now lest there be much pain and suffering. The original recipe is made from a box of beef flavoured Rice-a-Roni and a pound of ground beef. I've chosen to take a curry angle here and use ground turkey.

The only things I didn't have on hand were the meat and coconut milk, which combined cost about $4.50. Since it was so inexpensive, I decided to pick up a bag of salad, bringing my total to just over $8.00.

No, this one won't go for a whole week unless you eat like a bird. I got four meals out of it. Roughly $2.04 per plate? Not too shabby if you ask me.

I apologize for the crappy framing in this episode. I'm still adjusting to the new camera, to which I am unable to affix my wide-angle lens. May need to experiment with other camera placement(s) in the future.


mixing bowl
large skillet


For meatballs:

1 lb. ground turkey *
1/2 cup uncooked rice **
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 C hot water
2 heaping Tbsp yellow curry powder
1 Tbsp cumin ***
dash allspice ***
1 tsp ground ginger ***
1/8 tsp cinnamon ***
2 dashes cayenne pepper ***
1/4 tsp nutmeg ***
1 tsp dry thyme ***
1 tsp dry marjorum ***
1 can coconut milk ****
salt & pepper to taste

For mashed potatoes:

Instant mashed potato flakes and whatever ingredients for which the packaging calls. These are usually water, margarine (I use butter), milk (I use water) and salt (we'll use garlic salt here).



Mix ground turkey and uncooked rice until well combined, then form into balls. This recipe should yield about 20 meatballs.
Heat oil in a large skillet.
Brown meatballs on all sides.
While meatballs are browning, mix the spices with the hot water.
Once meatballs are browned, add spice & water mixture, salt & pepper, and coconut milk.
If the coconut milk has separated in the can, just mix in the skillet until evenly incorporated.
Allow contents of the skillet to come to a simmer.
Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. (It's a good idea to check on it once or twice and give things a stir to be sure nothing is burning to the bottom of the pan.)
If sauce is looser than you like after the 30 minutes have passed, continue to simmer uncovered until desired consistency is reached. I like the sauce to be fairly thick.


Follow instructions on potato packaging, replacing the salt with garlic salt. I've found that using just under twice the amount garlic salt than the salt which is called for is a good balance. Then again, I really like garlic.

I also really like mashed potatoes, so I made six servings-worth for my four servings of meatballs.


Yes, I know mixing uncooked rice with meat sounds odd. The juices from the meat and the sauce will fully cook the rice, however, so it's all good. Also, whatever rice is near the outside of the meatballs gets a bit of a nice, crunchy crust.

Music for this episode was "Yellow" from the album "Chakra Pop" by The Hybiscus Journals. This track, and many more, are available for download for free or whatever you think they're worth at

* This can be made with ground beef, though I find the beef flavour too strong for the curry. Also, you'll want to add an egg to the meat & rice mixture since ground beef tends to have less moisture than ground turkey.
** My rice of choice is jasmine rice, but use whatever kind you like and/or have on hand.
*** All these extra herbs & spices are entirely optional. You can drop a small fortune picking them all up in one trip, but I try to keep them on hand at all times, so I use them when I can. If you just have curry powder, salt and pepper, this should still be very tasty.
**** Coconut milk is also optional, though it does add a lovely rich layer to the dish. Coconut milk will separate in the can, so don't let that freak you out. The solids will re-dissolve in the sauce with a little stirring.


Boo said...

I am going to try this. It is a good value.

thorn said...

Right on! You'll have to let me know how it turns out.