Christmas made easy: alternative Christmas curry

Festive Pheasant Curry Recipe

Pheasant Curry Photo: Russell Bowes

Pheasant Curry Photo: Russell Bowes

So far in this series I have looked at a great alternative Christmas dinner recipe, Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. It sounds a crazy amount of garlic to add but you’ll have to trust me when I say it works. I then showed you how to turn your leftovers into the ultimate Christmas mega sandwich for a great boxing day lunch. Today I am sharing another recipe to help your Christmas go easy with an alternative Christmas curry recipe.

Who says Christmas day has to be about roast turkey and all the trimmings? You end up with lots of leftovers which you end up turning into a dish which can sometimes be tastier than the Christmas day dinner itself. Boxing day is full of turkey casserole or a pie of some type, why not switch things up and make a warming flavourful curry on Christmas day itself? At first curry might not seem the ideal meal for Christmas day, but curry is rich and warming for that white and frosty Christmas morning (well if we manage to get one) and I think a curry like this, with its mix of green and and a little red for garnish is very Christmassy!

Curry might not seem special enough for a Christmas dinner, and maybe an ordinary curry with beef or chicken is a bit every week. This curry however is special. Instead of using chicken, beef or lamb try pheasant. It’s a little special and a bit more expensive but, why not push the boat out for Christmas. You probably won’t be able to pick up pheasant in your local supermarket but a good butcher’s should be able to get hold of it. I popped down to a good butchers in Chiswick to get the pheasant’s and they were good enough to prepare them for me as well, removing the bones and nicely butchering them.

We took a bit of a risk with this one and made it when we had friends round on Sunday. I say a risk as neither of us knew what it would turn out like. I hadn’t had pheasant in years before Hana made this and had forgotten what it really tasted like or how to cook it. Good job Hana was cooking from a recipe as neither of us really knew what to expect. I did remember that as game bird the meat was reder and meatier than chicken or turkey. In the end I think it went down well. I really liked the curry sauce and the pheasant. If Hana or I made it again we would probably dice the meat up before cooking instead of cooking the breasts and legs whole, but it was tasty and I would love to have it again… maybe for Christmas!

Christmas pheasant curry recipe

Green Pheasant Curry Photo: Russell Bowes

Green Pheasant Curry Photo: Russell Bowes

Ingredients for 4 people

2 whole pheasant – breasts and legs. I would dice them up
3 cloves of garlic
a thumb sized piece of ginger
2 long green chillies
1 lime, juice
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp mustard
50g baby spinach leaves
Mint leaves
Coriander leaves
250ml Greek yogurt
Vegetable oil
Roasted cherry tomatoes


Pop the garlic, lime juice, chillies and spices along with the mustard and some of the vegetable oil. Whizz it to a paste. Dice the pheasant and add to a shallow dish. Pour the spicy curry sauce over the pheasant, making sure to coat it all. Cover with cling film and pop in the fridge overnight.

Pheasant in curry marinade Photo: Russell Bowes

Pheasant in curry marinade Photo: Russell Bowes

The next day, grab the blender again. This time add the spinach and herbs (mint and coriander). Once blitzed down add the Greek yogurt followed by some more vegetable oil. Pour this over the pheasant and turn it in the spicy curry mix.

Festive or spooky?  Photo: Russell Bowes

Festive or spooky? Photo: Russell Bowes

Heat some vegetable oil in a big pan and brown off the pheasant pieces over a moderate heat. Make sure you scrape off all the marinade to cook it fully. Add the marinade and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes till cooked through.

Serve with some basmati rice and top the curry with two of the cherry tomatoes.

Whether you choose to make an Christmas curry or to simply roast the pheasant I think it is a great alternative to turkey. It feels a lot more special, as these days you can get turkey as a low fat and cheap alternative to chicken all year round. Pheasant isn’t something you have every day! If you did want to make a more economical or “January friendly” version then substitute the pheasant for turkey or chicken.

Text and photos By Russell Bowes

Find me on Google Plus, catch up and message me on Twitter and see more great pictures on Flickr and Pintrest


One response to “Christmas made easy: alternative Christmas curry

  1. Pingback: Fathers day recipes: treats for your dad | russellskitchen·

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