Barbecued Tandoori Turkey Drumsticks with Spiced Mushroom Medley Pilaf

Recipe courtesy of Michelle of The Tiffin Box.

Prep Time: 4 hrs. | Cook Time: 45 mins.
Tip: You can make your own homemade spice blends using the recipes below. Otherwise, most Asian grocery stores and some major supermarkets all carry tandoori and garam masala spice blends.


For the tandoori turkey drumsticks:
2 fresh turkey drumsticks, skin on (around 600 g total weight)
2 – 3 tablespoons unscented oil (canola, vegetable, sunflower or grapeseed)
Lime wedges, to serve
3 tablespoons tandoori masala spice blend (you can use homemade or shop bought, see notes)
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 -3 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
2 tablespoons unscented oil
Salt to taste
For the Spiced Mushroom Medley Pilaf:
2 + 2 tablespoons unscented oil
Pilaf whole spice mix (5 whole green cardamom pods, 5 cloves, 5 whole peppercorns, 3 inches cassia bark or cinnamon, 1 star anise and 1 bay leaf)
1 small onion, finely diced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 cups basmati rice
1 teaspoon garam masala spice blend (you can use homemade or shop bought, see notes)
Generous pinch of saffron
3 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
450g mixed mushrooms (I used a medley pack that had portabella, oyster, white button, crimini and enoki mushrooms), chopped roughly
For the Garam Masala:
2 star anise
3 pods black cardamom, seeds only
1½ tsps black peppercorns
1 tbsp crumbled cassia bark
1½ tsps whole cloves
1 tsp green cardamom pods
1 tsp crumbled whole mace
4½ tsps coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
6 dried bay leaves
1 tsp grated nutmeg
For the Tandoori Masala:
½ cup mild long red Kashmiri chillies
¼ cup coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
½ tbsp black peppercorns
½ tbsp whole cloves
½ tbsp green cardamom pods
1 black cardamom pod (optional)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
6 inches of cassia bark (or cinnamon)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp grated nutmeg
½ tsp ground turmeric
3 – 4 tbsp paprika


For the tandoori turkey drumsticks:
1. Whisk together the ingredients for the marinade, and season to taste. Make three deep slits into the turkey drumsticks, then rub the marinade into the turkey. Place in a sealed ziplock bag and marinate overnight, or for at least 4 – 6 hours in a refrigerator.
2. When ready to grill, bring the marinated turkey drumsticks back to room temperature.
3. Preheat the barbeque to 450 F. Brush the grilles with a little oil. Turn down the barbeque to 400 F, and grill the drumsticks for between 25 – 30 minutes (depending on the size of your turkey drumsticks), turning a couple of times, and brushing with oil, until the juices run clear and the turkey is cooked all the way through.
4. Rest the turkey for a few minutes before serving over the mushroom pilaf and a few lime wedges.
For the Spiced Mushroom Medley Pilaf:
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot, and add the pilaf whole spice mix. Stir and fry for about 30 seconds until the spices smell fragrant.
2. Add the onion and and fry on a gentle heat for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft, but not coloured. Add the ginger and fry for an additional minute.
3. Add the basmati rice, garam masala and saffron, and fry together for 1 – 2 minutes, until the rice just turns opaque.
4. Add the boiling water and salt, and bring back to the boil. Turn down to the heat to low, then cover the pot with aluminium foil or a tight fitting lid. Cook undisturbed for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes without uncovering.
5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan, and saute the mushrooms on a high heat, stirring often, until golden, about 5 minutes.
6. Uncover the pilaf, and gently fluff up the rice. Stir in the mushrooms. Adjust seasoning and serve with the tandoori turkey drumsticks and lime wedges.
For the Garam Masala:
1. Heat a heavy frying pan over high heat and dry roast the black cardamom seeds and star anise just until fragrant, then immediately remove from the pan and set aside.
2. Now use the same pan to dry roast the remaining spices, one at a time, except the grated nutmeg, just until fragrant, then remove from the pan right away.
3. Once the spices are cool, grind them in a spice grinder then add the grated nutmeg.
Can be stored in an airtight container away from direct sunlight.
For the Tandoori Masala:
1. Heat a heavy pan until very hot then dry roast the spices, one at a time, between 30 – 45 seconds, until fragrant, then remove from the pan.
2. Allow to cool before blending to a fine powder in a spice grinder. Sieve if necessary to ensure a fine powder.
3. Combine with the ginger, garlic, nutmeg, turmeric and paprika.
Can be store in an airtight container, away from direct sunlight.