Acclaimed chef Asma Khan of Darjeeling Express talks us through her recipe for chicken drumstick kababs – the perfect Iftar dish during Ramadan

Tengri Kabab – chicken drumstick kabab

When I was growing up in India during the 1970s and 80s, Tengri Kababs were served solely at large family gatherings. As chicken was available whole, the bird was skinned and cut into eight; the drumsticks – tengri means ‘leg’ – were used to make this dish, while the rest of the meat went into other dishes.

When cooking this recipe, the Goldilocks rule applies. You want the drumsticks to be neither too fat, nor too thin. Ideally, they should all be medium so they cooking through evenly without drying out.

It's a great dish for Iftar as you marinate it the day before, then just bake or grill, so it's ready with minimum fuss.

Serves 2

4 medium skinless drumsticks (approximately 500 g/1 lb 2 oz)

For the marinade

2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tbsp ground coriander
¼ tsp chilli powder (replace with paprika for a milder heat)
A large pinch of sugar
1 tbsp fresh ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
Lemon wedges, to serve

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Place the chicken drumsticks in a non-reactive container with a lid and pour over the marinade, making sure that every surface of the chicken is covered.

Cover the container and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours, but preferably overnight.

Take the chicken out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. These kababs can be cooked either in an oven or on a barbecue.

If cooking in an oven, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.

Place the drumsticks in an oven tray in a single layer to allow then to cook evenly and pour over any remaining marinade. Bake in the oven. After 20–25 minutes, using a sharp knife or skewer, pierce the thickest part of the drumstick to check whether the juices run clear. If not, return to the oven. When cooked, the drumsticks should be speckled with brown patches but the meat should not be dry.

If cooking on a barbecue, wait until any flames have subsided and a low heat is evenly spread across the coals. If the heat is too high, the outsides of the drumsticks will cook quickly but the insides will still be raw.

The cooking time will vary depending on the heat of the coals. Before serving, using a sharp knife or skewer, pierce the thickest part of the drumstick to check whether the juices run clear.

Serve the kababs while warm, with lemon wedges to squeeze over.


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