Kalmi Kebab: Chicken Drumsticks with Cashew & Turmeric

Kalmi means ‘frying,’ and Kebab means stick – together; it means frying meat on a stick. Grilled Chicken legs marinated in a special garlic yogurt, cream, and cashew nut paste, spiced with turmeric and ginger. 

This traditional North Indian dish is influenced by Mughal cuisine and is usually served as a starter. This dish is mildly spicy, tender, succulent, and delicious; the longer the chicken is marinated, the softer and flavourful it becomes. So be a little patient and win everyone’s admiration at the end. 


  • 12 chicken drumsticks, skinned
  • 75g cashew nuts
  • 1 lemon, juiced, plus a few extra wedges to serve
  • 150g Greek yogurt 
  • 50g ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp Earth Signature Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • ½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain), optional
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp cracked black peppercorns
  • 50ml double cream
  • 50g clarified butter (ghee) 

To serve

1 small red onion, cut into rings


1. Boil some water. Once done, put the cashew nuts in a small bowl and cover it with enough boiling water. Set it aside to soften for 2 hours. Drain the nuts, put them in a small food processor, add lemon juice, and blend until smooth.

2. Take yogurt in a large bowl, mix the nut paste, and add the lemon, ginger, garlic, Earth Signature turmeric powder, chilli powder, carom seeds, garam masala, cumin, black pepper, and cream.

3. Make 2-3 slashes on each chicken drumstick and coat them with the spiced yogurt mix. Cover and leave it marinating for 1-2 hrs.

4. Heat the oven to 2200C. Put the Clarified butter (ghee) in a large roasting tin and heat it in the oven until it completely melts and is hot.

5. In the roasting tin, arrange the chicken in a single layer. Take half of the marinade, spread over the legs, and put it in the oven for 15 minutes.

6. Then turn the legs over and spread the remaining marinade. Keep it in the oven for 15 minutes, until the chicken is soft and tender when pierced with a knife.

7. Preheat the grill to its hottest setting and grill the chicken for 3-4 minutes until brown. Transfer to a serving dish, scatter the onion rings on top and serve with lemon wedges.

Prep TimeCook TimeTotal TimeServings
20 minutes + 3 Hours Soaking & Marinating    35 mins.55 minutes + 3 Hours Soaking & Marinating  6