We have been thinking of making an exotic preparation from some time now, something that will leave us craving for more.
From the numerous cookbooks that we have in our possession, we have always been enamored by Aditya Mehendale’s -Rare Gems: A Non-Vegetarian Gourmet Collection from Maharashtra. Besides documenting several non-vegetarian recipes from regional cuisines of Maharashtra it also appeals you aesthetically by some visually appealing food photographs. It has some recipes that are more popular among commoners while others are exotic that were reserved for erstwhile royalty.
So with exoticness still being at the back of my mind, skimming through pages of the aforementioned book, I came across this recipe which left me in a restive state. A stumbling block in form of procurement of quail meat was staring me in my face and I had no idea how do I start. This prompted me to approach the expert- Aditya, who happens to be staying at Pune. I had left him a message on FB messenger enquiring about the procurement of quail meat to which he did reply few days later. Meanwhile, I had found out an online meat shop EasyMeat that seemed to be a perfect response to my predicament.
So far I have ordered quails 4-5 times for different recipes from them and have found the service, delivery and the quality of meats more than satisfactory. I particularly like to visit their online shop to check the collections in their shelf that houses exotic meat. I have in fact urged them to stock rabbit meat too.
Being an exotic preparation, the recipe calls for an exhaustive list of ingredients that includes variety of Indian spices. However, none of the spices are as exotic as the chief ingredient and are easily available in any of the Indian grocery stores or supermarkets.
We have made this recipe almost 3-4 times now, for our family dinners and for our guests and I must say they were thrilled on being served with an exotic meat on their dining table. So if you plan to create some lasting memories for your guests you must try this dish. Go exotic once in a while, you deserve it!
- 300 grams Bater (Japanese Farmed Quail)
- 7 dried Kashmiri red chilies
- ⅓ rd cup grated dried coconut
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp black cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- 1 tsp white sesame seeds
- 2 and ½ inches cinnamon stick
- 7 peppercorn
- 7 cloves
- ½ tsp dried lichen
- ½ tsp mace
- 2 star anise
- ¼th tsp crushed nutmeg
- 4 black cardamom
- 4 green cardamom
- 3 medium sized onions finely chopped (150 grams)
- ⅓ rd whisked curd (80 grams)
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- juice of ½ lime
- 1 and ½ tsp byadagi red chili powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- Cooking Oil
- We will make a curd based marinade.Put curd in a large bowl,1 tsp salt, red chili powder,lime juice, turmeric powder.Mix.
- Coat quails in the marinade.Cover bowl with cling wrap and keep it aside for 30 mins.
- Meanwhile, we will dry roast spices in a pan until it starts releasing aroma(Coriander seeds,cumin seeds,black cumin seeds,white sesame seeds,cloves, peppercorns, star anise,green cardamom, black cardamom and cinnamon stick,fennel seeds,mace,dried lichens,red chilies,nutmeg powder,poppy seeds,dried grated coconut)
- Allow the dry roasted spices to cool down and then grind them into fine masala paste.
- Add 4 tbsp oil in a pan. Fry until onions turn golden brown.On low fame it takes 10 minutes.
- Add ginger garlic paste.Now add masala paste. Bhunao. For Bhunao you may add 1-2 tbsp water.
- Bhunao masala for 5 mins. Oil starts oozing out on top.Boil 2 cups of water for gravy. Add marinated quails to the masala. Add leftover marinade.Mix.
- Add boiled water for gravy. Adjust gravy consistency as required.Allow gravy to boil on medium heat.We have added 1 and ½ cup water.
- Add salt to taste.Lower the heat and cook covered until quails are completely cooked.Quails get cooked completely in 25 mins on low heat.
- Turn off the heat. Keep them covered until serving.
Click here to watch recipe video