So far I have made these kebabs 3 or 4 times and each time I made, they turned out delicious and were enjoyed by everyone in the family including the guests who happened to visit us. I found this recipe in the “Ashok’s book of favourite indian recipes”. I had been eyeing on these for a long time but the thought of trimming the drumsticks made me feel lazy and I kept putting it off. At last when I finally decided to make them it actually did not take me that long.
I did not modify the recipe much except for the fact that I rubbed lemon juice and salt prior to marinating with the gram flour masala. Also to add more flavour to it I fried the gram flour in ghee instead of just dry roasting it as given in the book. And of course I had to use a different roasting technique coz I do not have a tandoor (clay oven) at home.
“Neza” in urdu means spear or lance and the Nawabs of Lucknow relished these kebabs which were shaped like a spear. These kebabs just melt in the mouth and so flavourful that no wonder these were one of the yummiest delicacies of the Nawabs’ kitchens. I would like to include this recipe in the lost recipes of Indian cuisine as I have not seen this delicacy prepared in any homes or even in any of the restaurants’ menus in India or elsewhere as far as I know. If anybody does, then please do share with me.
Here’s my recipe:
10 Chicken Drumsticks (medium size)
5 Tbs Besan (gram flour)
2 Tbs Ghee
1 Tbs Ginger Garlic Paste
1 Tsp Red Kashmiri Chilli Powder
1/2 Tsp Turmeric
4 Green Chillies deseeded
1/4 Cup Cilantro
1 Tsp Garam Masala Powder
1 Tsp Green Cardamom Powder
1/2 Cup Greek or hung yoghurt
2 tbs Lemon juice
2 Tbs Olive oil
1 Tbs Cream Cheese
1 Tbs Whipping Cream
1 Tbs Gouda Cheese
1. Peel the skin up to the ankle and slit the drumstick flesh from the top end to the ankle and cut around neatly with a pair of scissors to remove the tendon and ligaments as shown in the pics above.
2. Now scrape the drumstick with a knife to clean and with the scissors remove the tendon with the skin sticking to it. It snips and comes off easily with the scissors.
3.Trim the top end a bit and flatten the flesh with the back of a knife and pound with a kitchen hammer. Handle them gently as the flesh breaks and comes off.
4. Wash, drain, towel dry, then rub salt and lemon juice to the flattened/pounded drumsticks and set aside. Meanwhile prepare the marinade. Heat ghee in a small kadai or sauce pan. Add the gram flour and fry it in the melted ghee till the raw smell disappears and a nutty aroma emanates into the air.
5. At this stage switch off the stove and add the ginger garlic paste, turmeric and kashmiri chilli, stir quickly to mix smoothly, let it cool a bit then add the hung yoghurt, whisk well then finally add the green cardamom and garam masala powders. Adjust the salt, mix well, then rub it on the flattened chicken drumsticks one by one so that they are all smeared well with the marinade. Leave aside for up to 4 hours or over night.
6. Add the deseeded and chopped green chillies and cilantro to the marinated chicken drumsticks just an hour before roasting them so as to retain their flavours.
7. Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees on convection roast, place them on a grill in a cookie sheet in the centre of the oven, baste them with olive oil and roast for 35 minutes. For larger drumsticks it might take a little longer. You need to turn them over to roast well on both the sides 10 mins before the cooking time. And finally when they are almost done baste them with the cheese mixture, leave for 2 more minutes and remove when the cheese gets absorbed and they turn golden brown. Do not over cook.
8. Enjoy with onions, radish slices sprinkled with salt, lemon juice and chaat masala or kachumbar salad. So yummy and delicious!