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 ?!
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 .
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
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 .
7.open 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.