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Quail Curry

Quail Curry

Quail, most often seen on the menus of fine dining restaurants, and usually only seared, gets a bit of a makeover in this recipe. This recipe goes a different route, placing the quail over toasted whole spices and allowing them both to gently poach in coconut milk. The result is a stunning and elegant curry. Really worth a try because the results are fab, and yet most of the cooking of this is hands free. This is great if you are planning to entertain and want something you can make in advance, which won’t require you to keep leaving your guests to tend to it. Inspired by Swahili cuisine, this is a favourite to make again, and again.



6 quail, cleaned

2 leeks, cut into strips

1 courgette or zucchinni, sliced

1 cup onion, finely chopped

1 cup tomatoes chopped

1 can coconut cream

1 can coconut milk

3 teaspoons whole cumin

2 teaspoons whole clove

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

2 tablespoons ginger, minced

1 lemon, the skin only (avoid the bitter white pith)

1 bunch coriander

1 tablespoon Tandoori spice

1 teaspoon curry powder

3 tbsp olive oil


2 birds eye chillis



  1. Season the quail with salt and pepper and set aside. 
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pot until it is fairly hot and then add the lemon skin, garlic, leeks, chillies, cumin and cloves to toast and release their essential oils and aroma. Once you get the fragrance, add the onions, stir, and allow to cook until soft. 
  3. Season generously with salt and add the tandoori spice and the curry powder.
  4. Place the quails in the pot, arranging carefully so that they all fit, and then pour on the coconut milk and cream. Add the coriander, turn down the heat and allow to simmer until the quail are tender and the sauce is cooked. Adjust seasoning if necessary and add a bit more coriander, freshly toasted cumin and cloves before serving. 



This recipe is from Season 1 Episode 4 of Minjiba Entertains, commissioned by The Africa Channel and showing on RealTime DSTV Channel 155, Emirates in-Flight Entertainment, Amazon Prime, and Demand Africa. 



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