quails in spicy curry – serves 6

6 quail
2 tbsp ginger paste
2 tbsp garlic paste
1 tsp turmeric
2 1/2 tsp sea salt
100 ml vegetable oil
2.5 cm cinnamon stick
1 blade mace
2 black cardamom pods
1 tbsp black peppercorns
5 cloves
5 green cardamom pods
250 g onions, processed to a fine paste
2 tbsp ground coriander
450 g plain yogurt
1/2 tablespoons chickpea flour
1 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp chopped coriander

Season the birds by rubbing with a mixture of 1 tbsp of the ginger paste, one tbsp of garlic paste, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 1 tsp salt. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.
Choose a shallow, wide lidded pan that can comfortably hold the quail. Set the pan over medium heat and pour in the oil. When hot, place the quail in the pan and cook until they are golden brown on all sides. Transfer the quail to a dish and set aside.
Add the whole spices and stir for a minute. Add the onion paste and the remainder of the ginger and garlic paste and cook for 5 minutes, stirring all the time. 
Add the ground coriander, the remaining turmeric and salt and cook for 6 minutes.
Return the seared quail to the pot and spoon over the sauce over them. Whisk the yogurt with the chickpea flour, then pour over the birds and mix into the sauce. Cover with the lid, reduce the heat to low and cook for 12-15 minutes.
Remove the lid, stir the sauce and and adjust the seasoning if required. Stir in the garam masala and fresh coriander. Spoon the sauce over the quail and put the lid back on and remove from the heat. Serve at the table from the cooking pan.


based on a Vivek Singh recipe - the head chef of the fabulous Cinnamon Club restaurant