Recipe: Glazed quail

Game season has been very much game on for a couple of months now, providing us with the perfect opportunity to go wild in the kitchen. If, like us, you’ve been struggling to know how to make the most of it at home, take inspiration from this Michelin-starred recipe from Atul Kochhar of Mayfair favourite, Benares – modern Indian flavours with a distinctive British twist. And if you’re not inclined to get your hands dirty at home, you can still taste the dish for yourself, as it’s currently on the menu at Benares. 12a Berkeley Square House, W1J (020 7629 8886;


For the quail
4 skinless quails
100g tamarind pulp
50g jaggery
5g fennel powder
5g ginger powder
8 cloves
16 green cardamom
20g Greek yoghurt
10g mild Kashmiri
chilli powder
5g garam masala
30g fresh ginger paste
30g garlic paste
20ml rapeseed oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the garnish
2 corn on the cob
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 cucumber
2g chilli flakes
2 lemons, juiced
25g butter
25g whipping cream
1 pinch cumin seeds
4 green chilli
1 inch ginger,
finely chopped
2g turmeric powder

1. Remove the legs from the carcasses individually. Split each bird down the back, then using a sharp knife, cut through the carcass either side of the backbone. Flatten out, then carefully remove the rib bones.

2. Heat a saucepan, add the tamarind pulp, jaggery, fennel powder, ginger powder, cloves, cardamom and half a cup of water and simmer until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the sauce and leave it to cool down.

3. Make a marinade with the tamarind sauce, yoghurt, chilli powder, garam masala, ginger and garlic pastes, oil and salt. Whisk to a smooth consistency, then rub on to the quails and leave, covered with cling film, in a refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours.

4. Meanwhile, remove the skin from the corn cobs.

5. To make the salsa marinate one cob with salt, pepper and a spoonful of oil and grill over an open flame or on a griddle until the kernels begin to brown evenly and soften. Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly and trim the kernels from the cob with a sharp knife.

6. Cut the cucumber into fine dice, lightly salt and leave in a refrigerator for an hour. Once the cucumber has softened, mix with corn kernels, chilli flakes and lemon juice.

7. Slice off the kernels from the remaining cob. Place in a pan with half a cup of water, butter, whipping cream, cumin seeds, green chilli, chopped ginger, salt, lemon juice and turmeric powder. Bring to the boil and simmer until the kernels are soft. Whizz in a blender until smooth, strain.

Skewer the quail supremes and legs, and bake them in a preheated oven at 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6 for 10 minutes, or cook on a barbeque.

9. Serve the grilled quail on a bed of corn purée with salsa sprinkled on top.

Serves 4, 45 mins (plus at least six hours to marinate)