I think Tandoori dishes are the most popular of Indian Dishes any American would know. The word “Tandoor” actually means a clay/brick oven. So any dish cooked in the Tandoor would be a Tandoori dish like the Tandoori Chicken, Tandoori Naan etc.For Thanksgiving, we didn’t have a huge family that we could share a whole turkey with and half of them are vegetarians so I decided to go with individual sized portions of quail cooked Tandoori Style and stuffed with Pulao.
6 Whole quail with bone and skin
1/2 cup basmati rice
1/2 teaspoon biryani masala
1/4 pound ground lamb
1 tablespoons butter
salt to taste
1 Bay leaf
1/4 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup of diced onions
1 1/4 cup of chicken stock
2 tablespoons of fried onions
2-3 tablespoons of pan fried cashews and raisins
1 cup firm yogurt
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
1/4 teaspoon chat masala powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon black pepper powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
pinch of red color
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoon butter melted
1 teaspoon kasoori methi (crush with palms into a powder)
salt to taste
1.Mix all the ingredients in the tandoori marinade and marinade the quail in it for 1-2 hours, no need to marinade the insides.
2.In a pan saute the lamb with salt and black pepper powder until it is not pink anymore and take it aside into an other bowl.
3.In the same pan add butter and saute onions and carrots until onions turn translucent, add the biryani masala powder and salt and saute for 1-2 minutes.
4.Add the rice and saute until the fat coats the rice, now add the meat in as well and the stock and bring it upto a simmer.Turn down the heat to medium low and cover and let cook for about 12-15 minutes or until rice is cooked.
5.Preheat the oven to 400 F. Now remove the quails from the marinade and stuff them with rice.Truss them with a thread so that the stuffing doesn’t fall off and the limbs are in place after cooking.
6.In a Roasting pan or on a pan with a cooling rack set over it place the quails breast side down and let cook for 15 minutes.
7.Now remove from the oven and turn them over, brush them with the marinade once more and let cook for 10 minutes.After 10 minutes, brush with butter and let roast for 2-3 minutes to give that crispy skin.Remove and serve with your favorite gravy and Cranberry sauce recipes.
You can also serve it on a bed of the remaining rice made for the stuffing.
To really simplify this dish for a bachelor , you can get ready made Biryani/Pulao from a restaurant and buy the tandoori spice from the store(I love the Shan brand) , marinade the quails and stuff it with the biryani.