Tandoori Stuffed Quail

Pat Chapman gives us a delightful starter with his delicious mix of big flavours, tucked inside a tiny bird.
Tandoori Stuffed Quail
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 4 boned quails, with skin on
  • 4-6 tbsp cold cooked rice

For the red Tandoori paste:

  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried mango powder
  • vegetable oil

For the red Tandoori marinade:

  • 150 g plain yogurt
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2-3 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp prepared red tandoori paste
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the glaze:

  • 4 tsp clear honey
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

For the Podina chutney:

  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch fresh mint leaves
  • 115 ml coconut milk, (or reconstituted coconut milk powder)
  • 1 tbsp bottled mint sauce


1. Mix the spices for the red tandoori paste together with a little water. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the paste for a minute or so.

2. Place the ingredients for the marinade in a non-metallic bowl, mix thoroughly and marinate the quails in the mixture for several hours (overnight if possible).

3. Set the oven to 190°C/gas 5. Remove the quails from the marinade and reserve it. Open out a quail and spread on a chopping board.

4. Mix a small amount of spare marinade into the cold cooked rice to make it a little sticky. Take a handful of rice, squeeze it and gently fold a quail around it. Tuck in the skin flaps and the legs, and gently press the quail into shape.

5. Repeat with the other quails and place them, breast up, on a foil-lined baking tray. Pour any remaining marinade over the quails and cook for 12 minutes.

6. About 3 minutes before taking them out, mix the honey and Worcestershire sauce in a small pan and heat together to make a glaze.

7. Remove the quails from the oven, and pour the glaze carefully over them, ensuring it covers all exposed flesh.

8. Return the quails to the oven for 1-2 minutes to finish off.

9. For the Podina chutney, place all the ingredients into a blender and grind to a fine puree.

10. Serve the Tandoori stuffed quail hot or cold, with a mixed salad and the Podina chutney.

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