The long-gone Rex Stores on Warden Road in Bombay had a marvelous sign that advertised “all kinds of wild games.” Wild games were not part of my family’s food scene, but in our San Francisco household, they’re welcome in any form. The spices in this masala paste are roasted before grinding, so that they lend a dark, smoky, campfire quality to the quail even if you sear it instead of grilling it.
Quail vary a bit in size. Some people eat less than one, some more than two, so I try to have enough to please everyone, with perhaps a little left over for the next day. I often serve this with polenta or grits or Firoza’s Khichri.
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