Kalmi Kababs … Mughlai Recipe

Kalmi kebab is a popular Indian variety of kebab that is made of chicken which is marinated and grilled. Indian spices and yoghurt are used for marinating the chicken during the preparation of Kalmi kebabs. The dish is served garnished with mint leaves and onions. Brought to India by the Mughals, it is particularly popular in India’s capital city of Delhi.

Kalmi kebab had its origin in Baluchistan, and was popularized in India by the Mughals. It has been popular in Delhi since then, as Delhi was the seat of the Mughals for quite a long period of time. It is now also popular in other parts of India, as well among Indian Diasporas around the world.

Kalmi kababs  are typically made with chicken drumsticks, but this recipe recommended chicken thighs  .


1 kg chicken drumsticks, breast or boned thighs, broiled and skinned.
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tbsp salt
1 cup (200 gm) dahi, placed in a colander to drain out excess water
2 cloves, roasted and powdered
1/2 tsp bay leaf, broken, roasted and powdered
1/2 tsp cumin roasted and powdered
A large pinch of saffron
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup (30 gm) all purpose flour
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 large onion sliced into rings, for garnish
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, for garnish
1 lemon cut into wedges


Wash the broiled skinned chicken, wipe dry.  Mix all the ingredients, except those for garnishing.  Place the chicken in the marinade and let marinate for minimum 2-3 hours, preferably overnight.

Once marinated place the chicken on the tandoor skewers and tandoor for 10-15 minutes or place on a drip tray and grill till light brown and cooked through.  Serve immediately garnished with onion rings and lemon wedges.

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