Quails' eggs and curry oil add a touch of class to this traditional British dish in Paul Heathcoate's stylish recipe
By Paul Heathcote
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus overnight infusing
  • Effort: easy



  • white wine vinegar, for poaching eggs
  • 6 quail's eggs
  • 300 g undyed smoked haddock
  • 50 g butter
  • 6 plum tomatoes
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • nutmeg, freshly grated
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 100 g long grain rice, cooked
  • 3 tbsp cream
  • 2 tsp parsley, chopped
  • juice of ½ lemons
  • flat leaf parsley, for garnish

For the curry oil:

  • 200 ml olive oil
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled


1. First make the curry oil. Heat a little of the olive oil in a small saucepan. Add in the curry powder, cardamom, cumin, coriander and garlic and fry gently for 1-2 minutes.

2. Add in the remaining olive oil, turn off the heat and set aside to infuse overnight.

3. To poach the quails' eggs break them into a bowl of white wine vinegar. Bring a pan of water to the boil and tip in the quails' eggs and vinegar. Cook for 1 minute until softly poached, then remove with a slotted spoon.

4. Bring a pan of water to a gentle boil. Add in the haddock and poach gently until cooked through, around 10 minutes.

5. Remove with a slotted spoon and flake, discarding any skin and bones.

6. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based, deep-sided frying pan. Add in the tomato halves and spring onions and fry gently for 30 seconds.

7. Season with nutmeg and cayenne, and mix in the rice.

8. Fold in the flaked haddock and cream, then the chopped parsley and lemon juice.

9. Gently fold in the poached quails' eggs and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour over the curry oil. Garnish with flat-leafed parsley and serve at once.

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