Tangdi kabab are a popular restaurant style appetizer made with chicken drumsticks, spices, curd and most often cream. Tangdi or tangri literally translates to legs & kabab is a piece of grilled food. Tangri kabab means chicken drumsticks that are grilled either over charcoal fire, tandoori oven, regular pan or in an oven.
There are so many kinds of tangri kababs served in restaurants. They almost differ from one restaurant to the other. One thing that is very common among all these is they are lightly spiced and mostly no chilli powder is used.
So they would look anywhere from pale white to light brown. They are very mildly flavored and taste mostly like these Reshmi kabab or malai kabab.
We always have a problem with the grilled meat that looks pale in color and it is almost impossible for me to get my family to eat that. So the only change I have made here is using red chilli powder.
If you love the cream and subtle flavors of spices on your grilled tangdi kababs then you will simply love these. These can be served as appetizers or serve them as a side with your pulao, biryani or any pilaf.
The recipe shared here is the same as you would get in any standard restaurant serving Mughlai food except for the chilli powder.
1. Add lemon juice and pepper over the chicken. I used red chilli powder instead of pepper. If you are looking for the restaurant style tangri kababs just go ahead using pepper powder & skip chilli powder.
2. Rub them well and rest for 15 to 30 mins.
Tips for tangdi kabab recipe
Chicken: If you plan to grill the chicken on the stove top using your tawa, then do choose medium sized drumsticks as the very large ones may not cook well inside.
Marination is the key to make succulent kababs. During marination, chicken not only absorbs flavors of the spices but also tenderizes which helps it to cook down to soft & succulent texture.
Grilling: These drumsticks can be grilled over direct fire, on a tawa/ griddle or even in a oven. I have included instructions for all of these.
Spice powders : I have used a regular but flavorful garam masala powder. If you do not have it use any spice powder that you have but ensure you like the flavors.
Yogurt or curd is the main ingredient that goes into marination of any kababs. This recipe needs thick curd or greek yogurt (strained yogurt). If you do not have then just add 1 cup yogurt to a muslin or cheese cloth and strain it until you get a thick mass.
If you are a new bie you can check this post on making hung curd.
Substitutes & variations
Cream & cheese: Some restaurants use cheese while some use cheese and cream both. I have used only cream in this recipe you may also skip it if you do not have. Not to miss the creamy and rich taste you can also add cashews.
Chilli powder in this recipe is used only for color. You may skip it or substitute with pepper powder or green chilli paste.
Flour : Most often corn starch is added to the marinade which lends a crisp texture to the chicken. If you do not eat refined foods then substitute it with roasted gram flour or besan or any nut flour. However you can skip the flour totally but it does lend a texture to the tangdi kababs.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 4 medium chicken drumsticks (about 500 grams)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (skip if using sour yogurt)
- ½ teaspoon pepper powder (adjust to taste)
- ½ red chilli powder (optional)
- 2 tablespoons cream or 10 cashews (you can also use both)
- 4 tablespoons greek yogurt or hung curd
- 1 tablespoon cornflour or roasted besan (gram flour)
- ¾ inch ginger or 1 tsp ginger paste
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves or 1 tsp garlic paste
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder or elaichi powder
- ¾ teaspoon garam masala (optional, use if using red chilli powder)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons oil or butter
How to make the recipe
Preparation for tangi kabab
- Drain the moisture well from the chicken drumsticks & make gashes or slits.
- Rub them well with lemon juice & pepper & or chilli.
- Cover and rest for 15 to 30 mins.
- Please ensure you use only strained yogurt, greek yogurt or hung curd only.
- In a separate bowl, mix together yogurt, cream, ginger garlic, flour, garam masala, coriander leaves, salt and cardamom powder.
- optional – If using cashews, then blend them well to smooth in a small blender along with yogurt.
- Mix everything well and taste the marinade. If needed add more salt.
- Transfer this mixture to the chicken and marinate at least for 4 hours to over night.
How to make tangdi kabab
- Preheat the oven to 460 F or 240 C for at least 20 mins.
- Meanwhile prepare a baking tray and line with a foil.
- Place a wire rack over the tray. Place the chicken tangdi over the rack.
- Grill for 13 to 15 mins depending on the size of the chicken.
- Once done, towards the end broil for 3 to 4 mins until slightly charred.
- Remove from the oven and brush butter or oil.
- Serve tangdi kabab as an appetizer with mint chutney or green chutney.
To make on stovetop on a tawa or griddle
- Transfer the entire marinated chicken in a pan or kadai and begin to cook on a medium heat.
- Chicken will ooze out a lot of moisture, just cook until all the marinade dries up and the chicken is fully done.
Smoke the chicken
- Place a small bowl in the chicken pan or tray.
- Burn a woodcoal piece until hot and red.
- Place the coal in the steel cup and drizzle 1 tsp ghee. Quickly smoke begin to release.
- Cover the pan and smoke the chicken for 5 to 7 mins depending on how strong you want the smoky flavor to be.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.