Brined & grilled turkey tenders with indian spiced cucumber-yogurt relish


  • 4 or 5 large fresh turkey breast tenders
  • 2 quarts water
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp. peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tbsp. whole allspice seeds, crushed
  • peanut oil
  • salt and pepper


  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cups cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup scallions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. black (or brown) mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne powder (optional/to taste)
  • ¾ tsp. salt. freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Brine Turkey: In a large plastic container mix together the water, salt, sugar, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, and allspice seeds. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Place the turkey tenders in the solution, put on container lid and refrigerate the turkey 3-4 hours.

Make Relish: Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place the mustard seeds in the pan and toast them for a minute or two. Add the cumin powder and continue to stir and toast until the cumin just starts to darken. This only takes a minute or so. Remove spices to a bowl right away; allow to cool. Stir together the yogurt and cucumber in a medium serving bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and stir till evenly blended. Adjust seasonings to taste and refrigerate until turkey is ready to be grilled.

Grill Turkey: Remove turkey from brine to a sheet pan covered with paper towels. Allow turkey to warm for about 30 minutes. Prepare your grill. Pat turkey tenders dry with more paper towels, if necessary, then brush them generously with peanut oil. Place each turkey tender on a small platter. Sprinkle tenders with a little salt and freshly ground pepper. Grill tenders over a medium-hot grill for 8-10 minutes per side or until fully cooked. Remove to a serving platter, cover lightly with foil and allow meat to rest a few minutes. Quickly slice tenders and serve hot with spoonfuls of the Indian Spiced Cucumber-Yogurt Relish. (Hot basmati rice and some grilled veggies are good sides with this.) Makes approximately 6 servings.

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