When I saw the recipe Anamika posted on one of the food groups we both are part of on Facebook, I knew it was for keeps. Just for its sheer simplicity, if nothing else. And the nothing else part I was soon to discover last evening, when we had these saffron-flavoured leg kebabs for dinner.
Anamika lives in Belarus, and has a natural affinity towards creating flavours and tastes close to her home and heart. Just to warm up the long, cold months of the country she lives in.
The star ingredient of Anamika’s Tangri Kebabs is Saffron. Saffron or Zafran or Kesar is divine. Few food ingredients can taste so distinct based on what we use it to make. But misuse of saffron is a crime. I have used saffron in both desserts and biryanis. And I must admit, its mellow, fragrant flavour bowls me out every time. There is also this strange feeling of romanticism attached to it.
Now coming back to Anamika’s Zafrani Tangri Kebabs, if you can, make it with dark meat – the legs and thigh portions of the chicken. That’s what she recommends too. Especially because those portions are more tender and succulent than white meat.
Ingredients for Anamika Bharti’s Zafrani Tangri Kebabs are:
12 chicken drumsticks, skinless and scored
1 cup juice of red onion (I pureed one large onion and dunked it on a sieve to let the juice drip on its own in a bowl)
Juice of one and half lemons
Quarter teaspoon loose saffron/zafran/kesar strands, crushed lightly
Canola or olive oil for basting
Marinate the chicken drumsticks with the juice of red onion, lemons, saffron, and salt. Let it stay in the fridge (on a hot day) for up to 8-12 hours. Bring the marinated drumsticks to room temperature before you barbecue or grill them.
Start turning the drumsticks as soon as they begin to get that beautiful char. Make sure you get that nice char on all sides. You may adjust the temperature of your grill once you have locked in all the juices. Baste with the liquid marinade and more oil if needed. It takes about 10-12 minutes of grilling to get the drumsticks ready.
Remove from the pan and let it stand for five minutes before you bit into a rock and roll of flavours. My husband called it “beautiful”. And he is a man of few words.
Thank you, Anamika Bharti. You are the muse and the mojo for this keepsake. To Zafran, Tangri Kebabs and more new recipes.