Buttered Quail

Buttered Quail

A twist on our much loved Indian classic, Butter chicken, this  recipe combines classic French techniques  using Quai instead.


Serves: 1

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes


3 teaspoons cumin seeds

3 teaspoons coriander seeds

6 garlic cloves

1cm piece ginger

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1 lemon, juiced

2 quails

250g butter

1 large or 2 small onions, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, diced

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

¼ cup thickened cream

1 tablespoon of honey

Vegetable oil, to drizzle

Bring it together:

Heat a frying pan over medium heat, add cumin and coriander seeds and heat for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Grind seeds in a mortar and pestle, or spice grinder. Meanwhile, make a paste of 4 of the garlic cloves, ginger, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon each ground cumin and coriander in a blender.


Debone quail and separate legs from breasts. Rub 1 tablespoon of the paste onto the quail and refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate.


Melt 125g of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add remaining ginger and garlic paste, and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Add onion, and cook for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add tomatoes, and cook for about 5 minutes until they start to break down.  Transfer mixture to a blender with remaining ground cumin and coriander, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, chilli powder and turmeric, and blend to a puree.


Melt 50g of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add puree and simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened. Strain puree through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat, slowly stir in 50g of the butter and cream, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Season to taste with salt. If sauce separates, whisk in 1-2 tablespoons water until combined.


Preheat oven at 180 deg C. Place a chargrill pan over high heat. Drizzle quail with oil. Cook for about 1-2 minutes each side until cooked to medium. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove quail, cover loosely with foil, and set aside to rest 5 minutes.


Serve with naan! Enjoy

Leave a Reply