How to Cook Quail Indian Style?

Searching for an exciting and unique way to cook quail? Look no further than this Indian-style recipe!

Here are how to cook quail Indian style:

  • Marinate then grill the quail to make Tandoori quail.
  • Cook the quail in the masala to make Quail gravy.
  • Or marinate and then fry the quail to make Kaadai fry.

The spices and flavors used in this dish will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more. So put on your apron and get cooking!

The World of Quail

Common Quail. Credit: canva

What is Common Quail?

The type of quails usually used for cooking is called Common Quail.

The common quail, also known as the European quail, is a tiny game bird in the pheasant family Phasianidae that breeds on the ground. It is primarily migratory, nesting in western Europe and migrating to Africa and southern India for the winter.

The Japanese quail, a native of Asia with a very distinct call from that of the common quail, is another famous backyard bird for cooking.

People eat quails with bones inside. The bones are easy to chew, and it is hard to take them out.

In particular countries, they’re often referred to as “doves” or “pigeons.” If you’re searching for a chicken or turkey substitute, quails could be the answer! They are high in protein and low in fat.

Is Quail Healthier than Chicken?

Quail are leaner than chickens and have more nutrients. The meat is higher in protein and lowers in fat.

Quail meat is richer in vitamin C and iron than chicken, making it superior for you to consume. In addition, vitamin A is found in quail, while chicken does not have any.

Quail also has more minerals and amino acids than chicken flesh.

Quail Dishes from Around the World

The common quail used to be much favored in French cooking, but quail for the table are now more likely to be domesticated Japanese quail.

The common quail is also part of Polish cuisine, Maltese cuisine, Portuguese cuisine, Italian cuisine, Mexican cuisine, and Indian cuisine.

How to Cook Quail Indian Style?

Methods for Cooking Quails

There are two methods when cooking quail: One way is frying, and the other is braising.

Frying is done by deep frying the quail in hot oil until golden brown. This method is best suited for large quail.

Braising is done by simmering the quail in water or stock until tender. This method is best suitable for smaller quail like the common quail.

For both methods, the quail should be marinated first before being cooked.

Cooking Quail: Indian Style

Many Indian dishes use quail as one of the essential ingredients. Some of the most popular quail dishes with Indian style include:

Tandoori Quail Recipe

quail tandoori
Grilled Tandoori Quail. Credit: canva

Tandoori quail are marinated in Greek yogurt seasoned with cayenne, cumin, and hot paprika. They’re lovely with Indian lime pickles.

These grilled quail are brushed with a super-simple spiced yogurt marinade, which gives them fantastic char on the outside and ensures that the meat stays juicy within.

  • Total: 45 min


  • 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh peeled ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon hot paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, plus cilantro leaves for garnish
  • Kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • 8 partially boned quail, halved lengthwise
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. In a medium mixing dish, whisk the yogurt with lemon juice, lime juice, ginger, garlic, hot paprika, coriander, cumin, turmeric, chopped cilantro, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 tablespoon oil.
  2. Place the quail in a large resealable plastic bag and pour over the marinade. Seal the bag tight, removing any excess air, and turn to coat.
  3. Refrigerate the quail for at least 8 hours or overnight.


  1. Remove the quail from the marinade and set it aside for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Light a grill and oil the grates.
  3. Brush the quail with a bit of olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Grill, turning once, over moderately high heat until the breast meat is barely pink, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer the quail to a plate, garnish with cilantro leaves, and serve.

South Indian Style Kaadai Gravy (Quail Gravy) Recipe

This Kaadai gravy dish is a spicy South Indian style Quail gravy prepared with basic spices and coconut milk.

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 20 min


  • 4 quail (Kaadai)
  • To soak & grind:
  • 8 cashews
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • Whole spices:
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 green chili
  • 3 onions
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp gg paste
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Coriander leaves


  1. Clean and cut the quail pieces into manageable portions.
  2. Chop onions and tomatoes.
  3. Prepare gg paste with 2 inches of ginger and 10 garlic cloves.
  4. Extract one cup of thick coconut milk and keep it aside. Or you can use ready-made coconut milk instead.
  5. Soak cashews and peppercorns in some water for 15 minutes. Then, grind them into a smooth paste and keep them ready.


  1. Heat the oil in a broad, flat pan and sprinkle with cloves, cinnamon sticks, fennel seeds, and a slit green chili.
  2. Allow them to crackle and add onions.
  3. To prepare onions quickly, add a pinch of salt to the pan. Sautee them for about a minute over medium-high heat until they’re golden brown.
  4. Add some curry leaves. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for about 5 minutes, or until fragrant.
  5. Now add tomatoes and cook them full soft.
  6. Put some turmeric powder, chili powder, and coriander powder. Add some water to cook the masala.
  7. Now add the Kaadai pieces and mix with the masala.
  8. Place the quails in a saucepan with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the pieces are firm but not hard.
  9. When quail pieces are thoroughly cooked, add cashews pepper paste and mix well. Add salt for the gravy as per your taste.
  10. Finally, stir in a cup of coconut milk and combine thoroughly. Let the gravy simmer for a few minutes on low heat before adding the coriander leaves.
  11. Switch off and serve with hot rice.

Quail Fry (Kaadai Fry) Recipe

quail fry india
Quail Fry. Credit: canva

Quail fry, also known as kaadai fry, is a beautiful and delectable non-vegetarian meal. This South Indian specialty is a restaurant-style quail dish.

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 12 min


  • 4 quail / kaadai
  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri red chilly powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilly powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon curd/yogurt
  • 2-3 tablespoon rice flour or all-purpose flour or cornflour
  • salt as per taste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • oil for frying


  1. Take the whole quail and cut them into big pieces.
  2. In a mixing glass, combine the marination spice powders in sequence: red chilly powder, pepper powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, lemon juice, curd/yogurt, rice flour (or regular flour), salt, and ginger-garlic paste.
  3. Combine the marinades thoroughly and make a thick paste. Do not add water.
  4. Place the quail in a glass dish and add the marinade. Coat the quail entirely with the marinade.
  5. Keep the quail marinade. It’s a good idea to marinate for at least 30 minutes. The longer you marinate, the better.


  1. In a frying pan, add in the oil and heat up.
  2. When the oil is ready, turn down the heat and add the marinated quail in batches.
  3. Fry the quail for 10-12 minutes on medium heat. Turn them over and fry on all sides until golden brown and crisp outside.
  4. Serve the quail with sliced onions, slitted green chilies, and lemon slices.


How is quail supposed to be cooked?

Quail can be cooked by grilling, roasting, or poaching.

Is quail challenging to cook?

No, quail is not difficult to cook. On the contrary, it is one of the easiest poultry dishes to make. All you need is some basic spices and a little time for marinating.

How long do you cook quail for?

Quail usually takes around eight to ten minutes to cook, depending on the method you are using.

What temperature should quail be cooked to?

Quail should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.