Game meat – Quail (Kaadai )Fry

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Have you ever wondered why Quails ( Kaadai ) are not  served as a  part of the menu in restaurants if you are living  anywhere outside of south India ??

Is it because not many have tried this delicate bird?

Is it because it is mostly bones and less of meat?

Is it because, they are so tasty and flavourful that you can’t stop with  one or  2 ??

Or is it just me , with my  head floating around with these crazy questions ?!樂

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Whatever the reason, once  you’ve tried this  tender  meat  cooked in basic spices , onion gravy and a generous topping of freshly ground black pepper  you will change your mind about reaching for chicken  next time .

The dish by itself can be served as an entree, or as an accompaniment.

I have decided to pair this with my ever so simple but fluffy, fragrant coconut milk  rice aka Ghee rice .

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Ingredients :

6  Quails  , cleaned and halved .

¼ cup sesame oil *

1 tablespoon Pepper Powder

10 shallots or 2 medium onions ,chopped .

1 tablespoon   fresh Coriander , roughly chopped .

1  Tablespoon  fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped

2 tablespoon Ginger ,finely chopped

2 tablespoon Garlic , finely chopped

4 cloves

1 cinnamon bark

I bay leaf

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

Curry leaves – 2 tablespoons , roughly chopped .

1 teaspoon Coriander Powder

½ teaspoon turmeric Powder

¾  spoon  Chilli powder

1 – according to taste


1.Heat oil in a non -stick  Pan  , add fennel , cloves , cinnamon and bay leaf . Fry for  30 sec .

2.Add the chopped curry leaves , mint and coriander leaves  , stir for well .

3.Add ginger and garlic  fry for 1 minute , followed by the chopped   onion until  golden brown .

4.Add the meat and fry well for 2- 3 minutes . The key to this dish is to add the ingredient  step by step and frying / incorporating them well .please don’t be in a hurry and add  the ingredient all at once .

5.Now , add the turmeric  powder , stir well , followed by coriander powder and chilli powder . Mix well . Add Salt .

6.Add ¾ cup of hot water , Stir  well , cover with a lid   and cook  for 7 – 8 minutes . the Lid , add pepper powder and  Stir well  for 2 to 4 minutes on low flame  , until water evaporates.

8.Garnish with coriander leaves / curry leaves  and Serve .

Best enjoyed with rice / rotis.

Additional notes :

*Sesame oil is KEY in the signature flavour of this dish. You can use sunflower /vegetable oil , but  the recipe will not taste the same. You can find it in the Asian section of grocery stores.

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