Make Ahead

Smoked Turkey Stewed in West African "Gravy"

November  4, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Imagine setting your Thanksgiving table with rich, smoky turkey thighs swimming in a creamy, west African "gravy" made from your choice of melon seeds (egusi) or pumpkin seeds. This dish is popular in Cote D'Ivoire, particularly the northern region, where melon seeds are traditional. NOTE: Be sure to finely grind the seeds, or the sauce won't thicken. It should look like milk, with just the teeniest, tiniest particles floating around. - Sasha @ GlobalTableAdventure —Sasha (Global Table Adventure)

Test Kitchen Notes

This simple but extraordinary dish is unlike any I’ve ever made, or eaten, before. The combination of slightly sweet tomato, earthy pumpkin seed “milk” and salty smoked turkey creates a somewhat rich sauce with the most gorgeous aroma. I didn’t have melon seeds, so I used raw pumpkin seeds as suggested; blending them with water produces the most luscious thickening and flavoring agent. Be sure to simmer the sauce for the full 30 minutes, as it will improve significantly with a bit more time. That said, given how little prep is involved, this made a terrific weeknight dinner. Highly recommended! – AntoniaJames —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • oil
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 1 Smoked Turkey Thigh
  • 1/2 cup Melon Seeds (Pumpkin Seeds may be substituted)
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Tomato Puree
  1. Add seeds and one cup of water to a blender. Puree until milky and smooth. Set aside.
  2. Add oil to a large pot, over medium heat. When hot, add onions and garlic. Cook until translucent.
  3. Meanwhile, cut up turkey into chunks. Keep the bone.
  4. Add turkey to the pot. Pour in the contents of the blender. Swish around the last cup of water in the blender, so you get all the bits and add to the pot. Finally, add the tomato puree.
  5. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Serve hot with white rice on the side.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Amexem A Adolemaiu
    Amexem A Adolemaiu
  • Sasha (Global Table Adventure)
    Sasha (Global Table Adventure)
  • Lawrence

3 Reviews

Lawrence December 17, 2017
Questions. 1.) Are the pumpkin seeds just the nut or shoul I try to purée the shells and nut together? 2.) Can I purée garabanzos instead for a texture similar to puréed melon/pumpkin seeds. 3.) I'm inclined to start with chopped green pepper with celery and onions, and add a bay leaf. Would that destroy the Ivoirian essence of the dish? 4.) No cayenne or chili's in this dish!??
Amexem A. January 29, 2017
Great recipe. Thanks!!
Sasha (. November 18, 2010
Thank you Antonia for testing my recipe! I'm thrilled you enjoyed it and am glad you recommend it. Happy Holidays! :)