I finally got enough banana leaves to make quail masala since I can’t use aluminum foil anymore!
Yes, that is the entirety of my kitchen. Where all the magic (and frustration!) happens, because it is tiny! Our top cabinets are literally too small to store dinner plates in, and our bottom cabinets are too small to hold pots and pans. YAH. Most of our kitchen stuff lives in the mud/utility/laundry room, along with our small 5.5 cubic foot deep freezer. My spice shelf lives in the living room, and the living room doubles as an office, with a desk and bookshelf, which means that, yep, you guessed it! We don’t have room for a proper table either. Oi.
But enough of that. Onward with the quail masala!
First, clean the quail by rinsing them well and patting them dry. Prick the flesh all over so that the marinade will get into the meat.
First, pureé these together.
- 1 onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1.25 inch piece of ginger
Then, mix in the following ingredients:
- 1 cup kefir or thick plain yogurt
- 1 tsp coconut palm sugar
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2-3 TBSP finely chopped mint leaves
- 2/3 cup finely chopped almonds
Completely cover the quail in the marinade, cover, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Bring 1-1/2 cups of water to a boil in a 2 quart stainless steel pan. Add 1/2 cup of rice, cover, and reduce heat, simmering for 20 minutes. When rice is done, drain out any extra water.
Next, add 1 tsp amchur powder, 1 TBSP of lemon juice, and 1/3 cup of chopped almonds. Pine nuts would be yummy, too, but I don’t really buy them. Stir well. Season with sea salt to taste.
Stuffing the Quail
Preheat the oven to 400˚F, and start a large (wide) pan of water simmering on the stove.
Cut your banana leaves into manageable pieces, big enough to wrap a quail. I made mine about 1 foot square.
Soften the leaves by dipping them into the hot water. Wipe them dry as they become pliant. This also serves to wash the banana leaves of dirt and whatever else.
Stuff the quail quite full with the rice, and then cover the quail in marinade. The marinade, along with the banana leaves, will hold in the moisture and make the quail nice and tender.
Baking the Quail Masala
Wrap each quail individually in banana leaf, tying with a piece of kitchen string.
Place the parcels SEAM SIDE UP on the top rack. On the bottom rack, place a large baking tray to catch any drips.
Bake for 25-30 minutes 400˚F, or until the juices run clear when pierced.
At the end of cooking, open the parcels completely and bake for another 3 minutes to slightly brown the quail.
Serve with slices of cucumber and mango and more fresh mint. Mmmm…
Sorry my picture isn’t great! Somehow in between baking and serving the quail I messed up something on my camera and couldn’t figure out what buttons I had pressed. Oi. I decided to EAT the quail rather than get frustrated, so the finished picture is less than par. Oh well! I hope you enjoy this recipe! :)
This post is linked to Sunday School at Butter Believer!
I was just wondering if banana leaves could be used to tent over a large turkey being cooked in a baking pan?
Yes! They could.
Where did you get quail from? I’m assuming not from a store like Whole Foods or Sprouts as I shop those places all the time and have never seen quail. Also, did the quail come already chopped for you or did you buy a whole quail and separate it yourself?
We got the quail from a local farmer. We got some already halved and some whole.