Tangdi kabab recipe – restaurant-style malai tangri kabab

Tangdi kabab recipe(restaurant-style chicken malai tangri kabab) with step by step pics – Tangdi kabab is a popular Indian style kebab made with a chicken tangdi/tangri or drumstick or chicken legs. Basically, tangdi/tangri is an Indian term that means chicken drumsticks or chicken leg pieces. Whereas kabab is the popular Indian starter, which is worldwide popular with the name of ” kebab”. That is why in India, this chicken drumstick kebab is named tangdi kabab or tangri kabab. Like other kabab recipes, this kebab is also brought to India by Afghans and this dish got popular by Mughlai cuisine.

Tangdi kabab has two different versions, the spicy version called Kalmi kabab and a non-spicy version called Malai tangri kabab. My today’s recipe is that totally non-spicy version of chicken tangri kebab aka chicken malai tangdi kabab which was mainly made in the royal Mughal cuisine. Even in Mughlai cuisine, this recipe is also known as murgh/murg malai tangri kabab. As in our local Indian language chicken denotes murgh/murg too, though murgh is originally an Urdu word that originally comes from Afghani cuisine.

Tangdi malai kabab goes through 2 marination processes just like my tandoori chicken recipe. And its all ingredients take a crucial part to make this kebab perfect. At the first marination, only lemon juice and salt make the chicken legs soft and tender. And in its second marination, ginger-garlic paste removes the smell of chicken, hung curd make it more soft and tender, cashew paste provides creaminess, special tangdi kabab masala and pepper add flavour and a slight spiciness to this kabab. Though due to the influence of royal Mughlai cuisine, malai or cream is mostly used in making this tangdi kabab recipe. Although, except using cream, the combination of cashew paste and hung curd make the same restaurant-style taste. 

restaurant style malai tangdi kabab

Like other Indian kebab recipes, chicken tangdi kabab is also made in those restaurants that own a tandoor oven. However, this kabab is easy to make at home too on the gas stovetop or in a microwave oven. As I make it in both ways. Just a pan or tawa and grill jali are enough for making it on the stovetop. Whereas the grill rack of my oven makes the task easier. Though to give it the same restaurant-style taste and flavour, I use the charcoal smoking method for making this dish in both ways. 

Even while I make tangdi kabab on the stovetop I follow 3 steps of the cooking method. First, the chicken tangri/drumstick is cooked in ghee or butter until gets soft and juicy. Secondly, again sauté the drumsticks/ tangri in butter and use the charcoal smoking method to get the flavour infused in the chicken. And lastly, grill or roast the drumsticks over the direct flame to make the same smokey flavour common in restaurants kabab.

However, 4 steps cooking methods need while making this kabab in the oven. 1. first putting the Marinated chicken drumsticks into the preheated oven. 2. Then first cook one side of the drumsticks in grill mode for a few mins. 3. Then again turns the chicken(drumsticks or leg pieces) to cook it for the same time. 4. Lastly, finish it up by greasing and grilling both sides of chicken drumsticks or chicken legs, it is the most important step to get the perfect restaurant-style looks.

A close view of tangri malai kebab

Even for having that same restaurant-style taste, one more important ingredient of this tangdi kabab is a special homemade tangdi kebab masala. A masala, which is specially prepared to create a unique flavour in this kebab. Without that masala, it will taste like other regular chicken kabab. And that kebab masala is easy to make at home with just a few simple whole spices available in every Indian kitchen. Even this masala making process is so easy that I always make it from scratch. 

In restaurants, this malai tangdi kabab is served with green chutney and salads and lemon wedges. Though a sprinkle of lemon juice and a chaat masala make this kebab like heaven.

If you love kebab, then must try this restaurant-style chicken tangdi malai kabab in your kitchen, hope my step by step recipe will help you to make it best. Don’t forget to share your valuable feedback about this recipe.

You may check some of my other Indian kebab recipes – Tandoori Chicken(on the gas stovetop and in the microwave oven), Tandoori Prawns, Mutton Seekh Kabab

Tangdi kabab recipe – restaurant-style malai tangri kabab

Ingredients of tangdi kabab

For marination

  • 6 pieces chicken tangdi / chicken drumsticks /chicken legs
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp Garlic
  • 1 Lemon juice(2 tbsp)
  • 10-12 Cashew nuts
  • 4 tbsp Hung curd
  • 2 Green chilli paste
  • 1/2 tsp Chaat masala
  • 1/2 tsp Black salt
  • 3 tsp Ghee/butter
  • 1 tsp tangdi kabab masala
  • 3/4 tsp salt

For making tangri kabab masala

  • 8 cardamom pods(choti elaichi)
  • 1 tsp whole cumin(sabut jeera)
  • 1 tsp whole coriander(sabut dhania)
  • 12 black peppercorns(kali mirch)

For smoking method

  • 1 charcoal piece or a thick cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp ghee or butter

Other ingredients

  • 8 tsp ghee

Prep time: 20-25 mins

Coking time: 25 mins

Total time: 50 mins

Servings- 6 pieces

Course: starter/appetizer

Cuisine: Indian

Author: Moumita Paul

How to make tangdi kabab recipe( restaurant-style malai tangri kabab)

Instruction with step by step pics


  • First making this chicken kabab, take 6 pieces of chicken tangdi, chicken legs or drumsticks, clean and wash thoroughly, drain them well. Keep it in a mixing bowl and make 2-3 slits on each side of the chicken legs(as shown in the pics). Set it aside.
making slits on 6 pieces of chicken legs or drumsticks, decribed with 4 step pics
  • Take a small blender jar, add 4 tbsp of hung curd, 2 green chillies and 10-12 cashew nuts, 18-20 garlic cloves, 1/2 inch ginger and grind it well until smooth masala paste forms. Keep the masala paste aside for later use.
ingredients of tangdi malai kabab cashew nuts, hung curd, ginger-garlic-green chilli and its paste

Making of tangri kabab masala

  • For making tangri kabab masala, take 1 tsp whole cumin(sabut jeera), 1 tsp whole coriander(sabut dhania), 8 green cardamom pods(choti elaichi) and 10-12 peppercorns(kali mirch) in a pan.
  • Dry roast the masalas for a minute. Keep it cool down.
  • Ground the masala to make a fine powdered of these spices. As shown in the pics.
making tangdi kabab masala by dry roasting and grinding the whole spices

Marination of chicken

1st step

  • For marinating the chicken, first, marinate the chicken tangdi or chicken drumsticks with 1 lemon juice or 2 tbsp lemon juice and 3/4 tsp of salt. Cover the bowl with a plate, keep it aside to marinate it for 30 mins.
1st step marination of chicken tangdi or legs for making this kabab recipe

2nd step

  • After 30 mins of marination, remove the plate, first add the masala paste(kept in the blender jar) to the chicken. Mix it well.
  • Then add 1 tsp tangri kabab masala, half a tsp of chaat masala, half a tsp of black salt(kala namak) and 3 tsp of melted ghee or butter with the chicken pieces, mix it all well together.
  • Cover the bowl with a plate again and leave the chicken for 2 hrs of marination. Let the meat gets soft and tender.
2nd step marination of restaurant style malai tangri kabab described through 4 pics

Making of tangdi kabab

1st step – the cooking of chicken tangdi in the pan

  • After 2 hrs of marination of chicken, take a pan or tawa, put the chicken on the stovetop and heat it up. Add 2 tsp of ghee or butter to the tawa or pan, again make it hot.
  • First, add 4 pieces of chicken drumsticks or tangdi to the pan, close the pan with a lid and then cook it on slow flame for 10 mins. After 5 mins must turn the chicken pieces to avoid burning them from the bottom.
  • After the last 5 mins, remove the chicken pieces from the pan. And cook the rest of the 2 drumsticks or leg pieces, in the same way, just I described before. Through this method, the drumsticks will get quite dry as all the masalas will be totally infused with chicken pieces.
1st step of cooking chicken tangdi malai kabab by searing the marinated chicken leg pieces in the pan

2nd step – cooking chicken kabab including smoking

  • Once all the chicken drumsticks/legs are cooked and got dry, then again heat a pan, add 3 tsp ghee or butter to it, get it hot. Once the ghee gets hot, then add the chicken pieces to the pan and again cook it on slow flame.
  • On the other stovetop, burn a small piece of charcoal or koyla. Even if charcoal is not available at home then you can use a thick cinnamon stick(dalchini), burn it as charcoal and apply the same smoking method with it.
  • Put a small bowl in the centre of the pan(where cooking chicken drumsticks), Put the charcoal into the bowl, add 1 tsp of ghee to the charcoal. Immediately cover the pan with a tight lid, as smoke starts forming, and its flavour will be infused in the chicken. Keep it for 3-4 mins or till the smoke stopped releasing.
using traditional charcoal smoking method for making the restaurant style tangdi kabab recipe
  • Then open the lid of the pan and turn the chicken pieces, again cover the pan wait for 5 more mins. 
  • After 5 mins, remove the chicken drumsticks from the pan and keep them aside. This way chicken tangris will be perfectly sauteed in ghee or butter and get the smokey flavour in it.
cooking the chicken tangri/ chicken drumsticks/chicken leg pieces in butter

3rd step-grilling or roasting of chicken kabab

  • Now again turn on the stove and put a grill jali on the top of the gas stove, slow down its flame to its minimum.
  • Put the chicken drumsticks or tangri on the grill jali and start roasting it greasing with some butter on its top. This way roast or grill the chicken for 1-2 mins then turn the pieces and again grease it with some butter.
  • Then again roast or grill its other side for 1-2 mins and our restaurant-style chicken malai tangdi kabab is ready. Remove it from the heat and keep it on a plate.
  • Apply the same method for making the rest of the 4 tangdi kababs. When all the kabab are ready by grilling or roasting, then serve it with green chutney, salads and lemon wedges.
step wise pics of grilling technique of tangdi malai kabab by putting the pan seared chicken legs on direct flame of gas stove

Microwave oven method of making chicken tangdi

In this microwave oven method, the smoking technique is applied in tangdi just after 2 hrs of marination.

  • Preheat the oven for 15-20 mins at 180-degree temperature. 
  • First grease the grill rack of the microwave oven with butter or oil, then place the marinated chicken drumsticks on it. 
  • Then set the oven in its grill mode to cook the chicken drumsticks or tangdi kebab for the first 10 mins.
  •  After 10 mins, turn the tangri pieces and again grill them for 10 mins.
  • Then check the chicken is perfectly cooked or not by inserting a toothpick into its meat. If the toothpick easily inserts into the meat indicates the kabab is almost done.
  • After 20 mins of cooking on grill mode, lastly grease the chicken pieces with butter and grill its every side for two and a half minutes. It will give that perfect charred effect found in restaurants kebab. And chicken malai tangri kabab is ready in the microwave oven.


  • Must slit the chicken drumsticks that the masala well absorbs by the chicken through those cuts. Even except for drumsticks you can use whole chicken legs too including the thigh portion of chicken.
  • Hung card is just a thick version of normal curd without having water. You can easily make hung curd at home just by hanging some normal curd in a cheesecloth or put the curd in a strainer for 20-30 mins to remove its whole water and turned into hung curd.
  • Without a hung curd, any kabab can not be made as normal curd releases water in its marination and masala can not perfectly get into the meat.
  • The first 30 mins marination with lemon juice will make the chicken soft and tender. The second marination conducted to infuse the masala into the chicken pieces. So both steps are important for this recipe and don’t skip a step to make it in a hurry. Then marination time will be more, otherwise, after cooking the kebab, the chicken won’t be perfectly soft and juicy.
  •  3 steps of the cooking process are also mandatory for making this kebab recipe. The first step helps to cook the chicken. The second step is used to make this kebab juicy and flavourful by sautéing in butter and using the charcoal smoking method.  And the third step applied for getting the same restaurant-style effect and taste. 
  • Store the rest of the tangdi kabab masala in an airtight container.

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