I absolutely love Thanksgiving food, but sometimes you just need to change things up! This year, I decided to try an Indian-inspired menu with a spiced twist on some of my holiday favorites.

When I found out that I would be cooking up this menu for a feature in New York Cottages & Gardens, I was thrilled! And not only did we make a whole menu of gorgeous dishes for the November issue, but I had the pleasure of co-hosting with the lovely Christian Zavala of Bespoke Host.

Bespoke Host is an ace up every host or hostess’s sleeve! The company is owned and operated by Christian, a seasoned interior designer based in New York City. Bespoke Host will create a custom tabletop wardrobe for chic and effortless entertaining at a moment’s notice. They also work with sommeliers, mixologists and DJs to make sure that everything is properly stocked for the occasion!

Christian Zavala and I, toasting to our beautiful shoot.

Christian transformed my dining room table into a fabulous Indian-inspired, photoshoot-ready scene with everything from jade-accented glassware to the gold-tinted fabrics to imported tableware. It was perfect down to every last detail.


This shoot was something out of a fairy tale and it was the perfect backdrop for my menu. Let me tell you, this was a fun day! We had some of our close friends come join us for this beautiful feast. One of the best parts about all of this is that I got to do a turkey day test run on all of these awesome recipes.

Everything was almost too pretty to eat! But don’t worry, we feasted. 😉

One of the highlights of the meal was this glorious golden brown turkey that was brined and then marinated in yogurt and Indian spices. While the recipe wasn’t mentioned in the article, I wanted to make sure you all had this recipe with time to spare before Thanksgiving. The yogurt marinade will keep your turkey juicier than you can imagine. Massaging your bird with a little bit of spiced butter under the skin doesn’t hurt either!

For something different this year, this Indian-spiced turkey is crazy flavorful and juicy. The yogurt marinade helps to seal in the moisture. Say goodbye to your dry turkey days! This combination of spices will have your guests begging for the recipe.

Juicy, Indian-Spiced Turkey
Juicy, Indian-Spiced Turkey
Print Recipe Juicy, Indian-Spiced Turkey
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Holiday
Servings: 8 people



  • 12 lb organic turkey
  • 0.25 cup kosher salt for brining
  • 4 green cardamom pods, toasted
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 whole orange sliced in half
  • 4 garlic cloves

Butter mixture

  • 0.5 stick butter at room temperature
  • 0.25 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.25 tsp ground cardamom
  • 0.25 tsp tandoori masala
  • 1 clove garlic, grated


  • cup full fat yogurt
  • cup coconut milk
  • 0.25 cup ginger, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 0.25 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 orange, zested
  • tbsp tandoori masala spice
  • tbsp garam masala spice


  • tbsp butter
  • tbsp flour
  • 0.5 cup chicken stock
  • pan drippings
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

A turkey roasting bag


    • To brine the turkey, place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the kosher salt inside and outside of turkey. Let sit uncovered in the fridge for 3 hrs.
    • Take out of fridge and rub the salt off the turkey with a paper towel. Make sure to rub off the salt or the gravy will end up being too salty.
    • With your fingers, gently loosen the skin of the turkey breast. Take the softened herb butter mixture and with your hand, stuff half the mixture on one side of the turkey and then the other.
    • Place the cumin, cardamom seeds, garlic and orange into the cavity of the turkey. Tie the turkey legs together with string.
    • Put the turkey in the roasting bag. Pour the marinade over the turkey. Smear it all over. Close bag and let marinate overnight in fridge.
    • Preheat oven to 350 Take turkey out of fridge and let stand for an hr.
    • Place turkey in oven and roast for 1 ½ hrs. Check the temperature with thermometer.
    • Cut top of roasting bag, being careful of the steam. Raise temp. to 400 and let the skin brown for ½ hr.
    • Check the temperature again. It should be 165 when the thermometer is inserted into the thigh. If not, roast until it reaches the desired temperature.
    • Let sit for at least 20 minutes.
    • For the gravy, you could simply strain the pan drippings and use those natural juices. If you want to take it to the next level, make a roux by melting the butter and incorporating the flour until you get a smooth paste. Deglaze with pan drippings. Add chicken stock and season with salt and pepper. Simmer the gravy until it becomes thick enough to coat a spoon. There you go!
    • Carve your turkey and serve with homemade gravy. 🙂

    Here’s a little step-by-step visual:

    Smothering the turkey in a spiced yogurt marinade.


    Here’s the turkey in an oven-proof roasting bag.


    Golden brown perfection!



    I hope you’re inspired by this turkey recipe. I’d love to hear feedback if anyone decides to make this for the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! 🦃🦃