Yay!! Grilling season is here. And what better way to start it off by making these delicious barbequed tandoori turkey drumsticks? And to make it even better, I also added a fragrant, earth spiced mushroom pilaf, to make it a complete meal.
I've been addicted to the smoky flavours of the barbeque and grill, ever since as a clueless ten year old I ate grilled sausages off a backyard pit in the coffee estates of the Nilgiri hills. OK, I also just realised that the above statement would make zero sense to anyone else reading it, other than me :) Please, allow me to explain. I didn't grow up with barbeque, in the sense that its used in North America. We had our tandoors, of course, but they were used more in restaurants rather than in homes. This didn't mean we didn't cook over open fires, in my grandparents' place, we still have a room with a fireplace stove that we cook staples on. My grandma maintains that you can't really get the true taste of a curry and rice without cooking it in a clay pot on an open fire, which infuses dishes with a smoky, deeply intense flavour. But barbeques were a Western concept, and some of my relatives learnt this when they lived in the States, Canada or Australia.
Some of these friends and relatives were coffee estate owners and spent their summers on the cool slopes of the Nilgiri Hills and in their estates. It was usually a treat to be invited to spend summers with them and I loved being able to romp around the estate, hanging out in the cool, ranch style houses, swimming in crystal clear watering holes and 'hiking'... usually walking a distance a teeny bit further than the nearest cane sofa :) And eating, of course. My uncle would rig up a crude grille over an open fire pit and we would then 'barbeque' 'exotic' Western food items like sausages and bacon and salami. It was the beginning of my addiction to all things barbeque.
On the other side of the world (literally), my husband Kay grew up with barbeque as everyday commonplace food. The sun comes out and so does the grill. Which is why I reckon he's never really understood my fascination with the process or taste. We had the tiniest backyard when we lived in the English seaside town of Hoylake, and so we bought an even tinier barbecue for those rare English days when the sun was shining and the (veggie for Kay) sausages were sizzling. Our grilling parties usually consisted of a few friends crammed around the baby grill, leaning over dangerously and grabbing another Cumberland off the skewers.
Happily, when we bought out first house in Edmonton, we went all out and decided to get a real, honest to goodness barbeque grill... oooh, with all its bells and whistles too :) It sits out in the garage for six months of the year, but thankfully summer is back and so is the grill. I've got my dad visiting, and I was just grumbling at the fact that I made him fancy dinners all week long and the one thing he was raving about was the barbeques bog standard hamburger Kay made for him... parents, I tell ya!!
Coming back to the recipe, though, this is one of two recipes that I was asked to contribute to the Get Your Grill On with Turkey and Mushrooms Blogger E-Cookbook. I have been working with Mushrooms Canada for a while, and I was very excited to work with them and Turkey Farmers Canada. I'll be honest, when I got the brief in April, my barbeque was still under a few feet of snow, thanks to the never-ending Edmonton winter. So it was certainly a challenge, barbequing under those conditions... but I channeled the spirit of the ten year old addicted to makeshift barbeques and came up with this delicious (imho) recipe. Tandoori masala adds a smoky, spicy hit of flavour to turkey drumsticks and makes this ignored cut of turkey succulent and truly divine. The mushroom medley pilaf adds a earthy, saffron flavoured elegance to this dish, and the two together make a yummy summer combination. And I love the colours of the two together, it makes my brightly coloured, tropical soul very happy indeed.
You can download the E-Cookbook on the Tasty Turkey Facebook Page here. Like the page to download the E-Cookbook, with this recipe, plus nine other fabulous looking grill recipes from my fellow bloggers. Or you can also download it directly here.
I'll be posting my Mushrooms Canada recipe in the next few weeks, but if you're impatient, the Mushrooms Canada recipes from the E-Cookbook can be downloaded from their Facebook Page. Or you can download it directly here.Enjoy the beautiful summer and go on and Get Your Grill On!
Disclosure: I was offered a stipend to create these recipes. Both recipes are original and were developed, tested, written and photographed by me, in keeping with the theme of this site and my personal cooking and eating philosophies. But then you know that already, right? :)