Kerala style kaada(quail) masala

The quail or kaada as it is known in kerala, is an extremely tiny bird which gives a soft, delicate white meat very similar to chicken. However, the nutritional benefits of quail meat and eggs are said to be much more than that of chicken. It apparently has low skin fat and low cholesterol values and 2-3 times as much protein. Well all that aside, to me it is a plateful of butter soft, juicy meat coated in thick creamy aromatic gravy. This preparation uses yogurt that adds a nice tanginess to the gravy that makes the meat taste even more juicier.


  • Quail – 2
  • Onions – 3 roughly chopped
  • shallots(small onions) – 7-8
  • Tomato – 1 sliced
  • Ginger garlic paste – 3 teaspoons
  • Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Fennel seeds- 1 teaspoon
  • Garam masala-1 teaspoon
  • Chilly sauce – 1 teaspoon
  • Chilly powder – 3 teaspoons
  • Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Oil – 3-4 teaspoons
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander
  • Yogurt – 1/2 cup


  1. Wash and clean the quail. You can cut it into 2 or use it as is.
  2. Marinate the quail with ginger garlic paste, chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. leave it for  10-15 mins
  3. Heat oil in a pan and fry the marinated quail until brown
  4. Remove excess oil from the pan and add onions, shallots and ginger garlic paste and saute well for about 15 mins
  5. Add cumin seeds and fennel seeds and continue to cook on low heat.
  6. Add tomatoes and red chilly sauce saute well
  7. Turn off the flame and let it cool
  8. Blend everything together to a smooth paste. Add water if required
  9. Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan and add the paste.
  10. Add red chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala and cook until the raw smell of masalas are gone
  11. Turn off the flame for 5 mins and add yogurt. Mix well.
  12. Turn the flame on, add the fried quail and close and cook for 15-20 mins until oil separates from the gravy.
  13. Garnish with fresh coriander or kasuri methi leaves.


  1. You can add corn flour to the marinade to give a crispiness to the quail pieces.
  2. Do not blend the masala when its hot.
  3. Do not add yogurt to hot gravy or it will curdle badly giving a bad appearance to the gravy. 

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