Since I have no more of Neeta’s preserves to share with you, I pass along one of my favorite recipes for quail.
Based on a traditional Indonesian method of cooking chicken, you can use it to grill any type poultry, game, lamb, or pork.
6 whole quail, cleaned and split in half, lengthwise
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon tamarind dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water
2 fresh red or green hot chiles, stemmed and seeded, or to taste
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
¼ cup minced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt to taste
Preheat and oil a grill.
Generously rub the quail with lemon juice. Place on the preheated grill and grill each side for 2 minutes. Remove from the grill and set aside. Do not let the fire die or turn off the grill, whichever type grill you are using.
Strain the tamarind though a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the solids to extract all liquid. Combine the liquid with the chiles, coconut milk, onion, and garlic and process until smooth. Season with salt to taste.
Using the flat side of a cleaver or a heavy-bottom frying pan, pound each quail half to flatten slightly.
Place the quail, skin side down, in a large frying pan. Add the tamarind mixture and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and then lower the heat and simmer for 6 minutes.
Immediately remove the quail from the sauce and return to the hot grill. Grill, skin side down, for 2 minutes or until crisp.
Remove from the grill and serve immediately.