I was scanning the supermarket shelves the other day and this little bird caught my eye. So small you can cup it in your palms and so fragile its bones are like toothpicks. Dear reader, I did not quail in fear. Like a curious cat I brought a couple back home to play with in my Kitchen.
Quails are infact migratory birds that fly upwards if scared rather than shrink back in fear (to quail). They are part of the pheasant family and therefore are classed as a game bird. In France, you can buy quails (farci) stuffed with figs or (nature) whole - head included. The French usually roast them in the oven with shallots, wine or mushrooms but I decided to channel the God of Spicy Things and found that quails were a popular dish at the Moghul royal table. So what better way to pay homage to those great kings than to make a Quail Korma?
The Moghuls - descendants of Genghis Khan -ruled India for 300 years from the 16th to the 18th century. It was during this time that Moghlai culture, literature, architecture-think the Taj Mahal- flourished and cuisine; a combination of North Indian, central Asian and Persian fused together in the Royal kitchens to create some of the most popular dishes today like Korma, Rogan Josh and Biryani.