Tandoori Marinated Quail

These grilled quail are seasoned with a super-simple spiced yogurt marinade, which gives them delicious char on the outside and keeps the meat juicy within. Slideshows:  Indian Recipes 

Tandoori Marinated Quail
Photo: © Con Poulos
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 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 bowl, whisk the yogurt with the lemon juice, lime juice, ginger, garlic, hot paprika, coriander, cumin, turmeric, chopped cilantro, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of oil. Transfer the marinade to a very large resealable plastic bag and add the quail. Seal the bag, pressing out the air, and turn to coat. Refrigerate the quail for at least 8 hours or overnight.

  2. Remove the quail from the marinade and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  3. Light a grill and oil the grates. Lightly season the quail with salt and pepper and grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until the breast meat is barely pink, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the quail to a platter, garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.


Variation Marinate eight 6- to 8-ounce whole chicken legs overnight. Grill over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes.

Serve With

Indian lime pickles, available at Indian markets.

Suggested Pairing

Try a moderately sweet Riesling from Oregon or New York's Finger Lakes that can handle both heat and tang.

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