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Tonight, try Padma Lakshmi’s ‘lassi brined turkey’ for dinner (recipe inside)

"A riff on my classic buttermilk brined turkey but with lassi! Tenderising meat in yoghurt is an age-old Indian practice," she wrote

padma lakshmiPadma Lakshmi brines turkey with lassi (Source: Padma Lakshmi/Instagram)

Thanksgiving may have gone but that doesn’t mean you can’t cook yourself some delicious and tender turkey which is, otherwise, traditionally associated with the US national holiday. Packed with irresistible flavour and juiciness, it makes for the perfect meal when you are in the mood for something different. While there are myriad ways of preparing turkey at home, it’s time for you to give it a desi twist.

Padma Lakshmi, an Indian-American author and model, who frequently shares interesting recipes on social media, recently took to Instagram to demonstrate how you can make ‘lassi brined turkey’. “A riff on my classic buttermilk brined turkey but with lassi! Tenderising meat in yoghurt is an age-old Indian practice,” the 52-year-old wrote, sharing the recipe. Take a look.


For the brine/marinade

*8 fresh bay leaves
*4-6 (32oz) bottles of plain lassi
*½ cup granulated sugar
*½ cup coarse sea salt
*1 tbsp black peppercorns
*1½ tsp ground cayenne
*1 (14-lb) fresh or thawed frozen whole turkey, neck and giblets removed

For the turkey

*20 fresh bay leaves
*3 small Fuji or Honeycrisp apples, cored and cut into wedges
*2 small Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into wedges
*2 small fennel bulbs, sliced
*1 medium red onion, sliced
*1 medium yellow onion, sliced
*1 small bunch of thyme
*10 slices fresh ginger
*12 garlic cloves, sliced
*1 orange, cut into 1-inch wedges
*Coarse sea salt
*1½ tbsps black peppercorns, toasted
*1 lemon, quartered
*Extra-virgin olive oil


*In a big pot, pour 4-6 bottles of lassi, sugar, sea salt, black peppercorns, cayenne and bay leaves. Now, place the turkey in the pot and refrigerate for three days. Don’t forget to turn the turkey every 12-24 hours.

*Drain the pot and wipe off the excess lassi from the turkey.


*Season the cavity with sea salt and stuff it with peppercorns, orange, lemon, ginger, garlic and bay leaves.

*In a large roasting pan, place sliced onions, fennel bulbs, bay leaves, thyme, ginger, peppercorns, apples and oranges.

*Now, place the stuffed turkey on the roasting pan. Sprinkle it with salt and ground pepper, and pour olive oil over it. Rub the oil generously to evenly coat the skin.


*Transfer it to the oven at 450 degrees and roast until browned in spots all over but not burned – for about 20-40 minutes.

*Pour 2 cups water into the pan, cover the turkey with foil and loosely crimp around the edges of the pan. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees and slide the pan back into the oven.

*Slow-roast until the turkey is almost cooked through (a meat thermometer will register 150 degrees in the thickest part of the breast and 160 degrees in the thigh), for about 4 hours.

*Uncover, baste all over with the pan juices and roast uncovered until the skin is more evenly browned and the meat registers 155 degrees in the breast and 165 degrees in the thigh, 30 to 45 minutes.

*The internal temperature will continue to rise as the turkey rests. Let cool slightly in the pan, then transfer the turkey to a serving platter.

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First published on: 01-12-2022 at 21:40 IST
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