Heat the oven to 425 degrees F (225 degrees C/Gas 7).
Starting at the neck end of the turkey, use the point of a knife to make a small
slit between the skin and meat, taking care not to cut the skin. Using your fingers,
and working from the small cut, gradually separate the skin of the bird away from
the breast and leg meat. Do not remove or cut the skin: the idea is to create a
pocket which can be filled with the cream cheese stuffing. Set the turkey aside.
Melt half the butter, then cool it slightly, if necessary, as it should not be
hot enough to melt the cream cheese.
Split the cardamom pods, scrape out the tiny
seeds and add them to the cream cheese; discard the pods.
Mix the melted butter
into the cream cheese, then add the garlic, ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric,
cumin seeds, grated ginger and ground cinnamon. Season to taste, mix well and stir
in the chopped coriander leaves and mint.
Spoon the cream cheese stuffing into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle
and carefully insert it between the skin and leg meat of the turkey. Squeeze the
mixture into the pocket between the meat and skin, carefully patting it and spreading
it to ensure that it covers the flesh evenly. Repeat the process to cover the other
leg and the breast meat.
Place the prepared turkey in a roasting tin.
Melt the remaining butter.
Cut a piece of muslin large enough to cover the whole
bird and soak it in the melted butter. Lay this over the top of the turkey to keep
it moist during cooking. If you do not have muslin or very fine cotton, brush the
butter all over the turkey and cover with foil.
Roast the turkey for 2 hours 40 minutes, or until cooked and golden brown. To
check that the meat is cooked through, pierce the thick area on the thigh with the
point of a knife: the meat should be firm and look cooked and the juices should
be clear. If there is any sign of pink meat or blood in the juices, re-cover the
turkey with the muslin or foil and continue cooking, then check again after about
Remove the muslin and transfer the turkey to a warm serving platter.
Carve the turkey and arrange the portions on individual plates.