Tandoori quail with fennel salad and yoghurt dressing

Fire up the griddle-pan for a tasty tandoori quail recipe.


For the tandoori quail
  • 4 quail
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 5cm/2in piece fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seed
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 200ml/7fl oz natural yoghurt
For the fennel raita
  • 2 bulbs fennel, finely sliced
  • ½ cucumber, finely sliced
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, finely sliced
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 75ml/3fl oz natural yoghurt
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground fennel seed
  • 2 tbsp coriander cress, or chopped fresh coriander

Preparation method

  1. To spatchcock the quail, take some strong, sharp scissors (or poultry shears) and cut down either side of the spine. Take out the spine, then press down on the breastbone of the quail to open it out flat. Cut the quail in half lengthways.

  2. For the marinade, mix the spices and yoghurt in a bowl until well combined.

  3. Coat the quail with the marinade, cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

  4. Heat a griddle pan until hot, then add the quail, skin-side down, and grill for 3 minutes on each side, or until the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part. Remove the quail from the griddle and lave to rest for 2-3 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile for the fennel salad, mix the fennel, cucumber, red onion, mint and half the lemon juice in a bowl until well combined. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  6. Whisk the olive oil, yoghurt and remaining lemon juice in a bowl until well combined. Add the cumin and fennel seed, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  7. To serve, place the quail on top of the salad. Scatter with coriander cress and spoon a good dollop of yoghurt dressing alongside.

Required techniques

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Overnight preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

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