Tangdi kabab recipe – restaurant-style malai tangri kabab

Tangdi kabab recipe – making a restaurant-style chicken malai tangri kabab with step by step pics. Tangdi kabab is a popular Indian style kebab made with a chicken drumstick or chicken legs. In our Indian language, basically, tangdi/tangri means drumsticks or chicken leg pieces. Whereas kabab is the Indian name of worldwide popular starter kebab. That is why in India, this chicken drumstick kebab is named tangdi kabab or tangri kabab. Like other kabab recipes, this dish is also brought to India by Afghans and got popular by Mughalai 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 the non-spicy version of chicken tangri kabab aka malai tangdi kabab which was mainly made in the royal Mughal cuisine. Even in Mughlai cuisine, this recipe is also known as murgh tangri kabab. As in our local Indian language chicken denoting as murgh.

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 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. 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, It 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 drumstick is cooked in ghee or butter until gets soft and juicy. Secondly, sauté in butter and use the charcoal smoking method to get the flavour infused in the meat. And lastly, grill or roast the meat over the direct flame to make the same smokey flavour common in restaurants kabab.

However, 4 steps cooking methods need while making it in the oven. Marinated chicken drumsticks are put into the preheated oven. Then first cook its one side in grill mode for few mins, then again turn the pieces to cook it at the same time. Lastly, greasing and grilling for both sides are important steps 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 masala. A masala, which is specially prepared to create a unique flavour in this recipe. 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. A sprinkle of lemon juice and a chaat masala make it 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 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


For marination

  • 6 pieces 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
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
  • 1 tsp whole coriander
  • 12 back peppercorns

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 take 6 pieces of 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

  • Take 1 tsp whole cumin, 1 tsp whole coriander, 8 green cardamom pods and 10-12 peppercorns in a pan.
  • Dry roast it for a minute. Keep it cool down.
  • Ground it to make a fine powdered of this spice. As shown in the pics.
making tangdi kabab masala by dry roasting and grinding the whole spices


1st step

  • First, marinate the chicken 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

2nd step

  • After 30 mins, 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 and 3 tsp of melted ghee or butter with chicken, mix it all well together.
  • Cover the bowl with a plate again and leave the chicken for 2 hrs of marination.
2nd step marination of restaurant style malai tangri kabab described through 4 pics

Making of tangdi kabab

1st step – cooking chicken in pan

  • After 2 hrs of marination, take a pan or Tawa, put it on the stovetop and heat it up. Add 2 tsp of ghee or butter to the pan to make it hot.
  • First, add 4 pieces of chicken to the pan, cover the pan 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 leg pieces, in the same way, just I described.
1st step of cooking chicken tangdi malai kabab

2nd step – cooking including smoking

  • Once all the chicken legs are cooked, 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. Even if charcoal is not available at your home then you can use a thick cinnamon stick, 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), 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.
cooking the chicken tangri in butter

3rd step-grilling or roasting

  • 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 on the grill jali and start roasting the drumsticks by 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 on direct flame of gas stove

Microwave oven method

In the microwave method, the smoking technique is applied just after 2 hrs marination.

  • Preheat the oven for 15-20 mins at 180-degree temperature. 
  • First grease the grill rack of the oven with butter or oil, then place the marinated drumstick on it. 
  • Then set the oven in its grill mode to cook the chicken tangdi for the first 10 mins.
  •  After 10 mins, turn the tangri pieces and again grill them for 10 mins.
  • Then check the perfectly cooked chicken by inserting a toothpick.
  • After 20 mins of cooking on grill mode, lastly grease the chicken with butter and grill its every side for two and a half minutes. It will give that perfect charred effect. And malai tangri kabab is ready in the microwave oven.


  • Must slit the chicken legs that the masala well absorbs by the chicken through those cuts.
  • 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 conduct 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 chicken won’t be perfectly soft and juicy.
  •  3 steps of the cooking process are also mandatory for making this 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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