Mix the cinnamon, pomegranate syrup, tamari, the first amount of lemon zest and the olive oil in a bowl. Add the prepared quails to this paste and mix well, then seal the bowl with clingfilm and leave to marinate for at least 4 hours.
While they are marinating make the salad. Turn the oven to 180°C/ 350°F/Gas 4. Mix all the remaining ingredients except the coriander leaves and pomegranate seeds and place in a roasting dish in the oven. Stir after 15 minutes and cook for a further 20 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they may burn; they will need more occasional stirring. Once cooked, remove the dish from the oven and when it’s cooled mix in the coriander leaves and put to one side. The other thing to do at this stage is to extract the seeds from the pomegranate. Cut it into quarters and take them out, removing any clinging white membrane.
Turn the grill on full. Lightly oil a piece of foil and lay it on a baking tray that will fit comfortably under the grill. The tray should be about 7-10cm (3-4in) from the elements. Sit the birds on the foil, side up, and grill for 3½ minutes, then turn over and grill for 4 minutes on the other side. Because the syrup has a high sugar content it will caramelise, which is what we want. However, it’s not as nice if it burns, so turn the heat down a bit if necessary. Quails can be eaten a little pink, so test by pushing a sharp knife into the thigh of a bird. If the juices run out clear or just a little pink they are cooked.
Serve the quail while still warm on top of the carrot salad and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. If eating with fingers, remember to provide finger bowls!
© 1997 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.