Elizabeth, Derry and I were given a lift across country from Lucknow to Agra by a group of men who were going shooting. We all squashed together in a small van for the long journey. As the conversation in India invariably turns to food they talked about how their wives cooked the game they shot - quails, partridge, duck and more. Back in England, I tried combining game birds with Indian spices and found it opened up delicious new ways of cooking them.
Cut open the chillies under running water and discard the seeds and stems. Cut open the red pepper, discard the seeds and stem and chop roughly. Peel the garlic and onions and chop roughly. Put these prepared ingredients into a food processor and whiz to a smooth purée.
Stir the tamarind water, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée and crushed cardamom seeds into the purée in the casserole and season with a little sea salt.
Put the quails into the dish, cover and increase the heat to medium. When the sauce is just bubbling, transfer the dish to the centre of the oven.
Before serving, spoon the yogurt on top of the curry, but don’t stir it in.
© 2010 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.