Tamarind Fried Quail

There are as many versions of  fried poultry dishes in Indonesia as there are ethnic dialects. Be it free range chicken, duck, squab, or quail, there is something for everyone’s palate. In this recipe, I use quail because it is one of my favorite types of poultry to use. It cooks a lot faster and it’s a good choice when I am looking to elevate an ordinary chicken dish.

The tamarind marinade is a traditional simple Javanese seasoning usually applied to fried poultry. You can easily substitute chicken in this dish.  This would make an exceptional chicken wings variation.
I’ve paired the tamarind fried quail with a traditional sambal from Bali called Sambal Matah (traditional raw lemongrass sambal) that is used as a dipping sauce.

Tamarind Fried Quail

Servings: 4 to 6 servings


4-6 whole quails (Your local Chinatown usually has them in great price but if you do not have access to it you can get quail online)
1 bulb of garlic (roughly 6-8 cloves)
2 tablespoons pure tamarind pulp
1 tablespoons salt
¼ cup of hot water
1 teaspoon ground cardamom


Crush garlic in salt

Mix hot water to tamarind pulp to soften and dilute.

Marinate the quails in diluted tamarind paste and crushed garlic and salt . Set aside for at least 15 minutes.

Heat up oil to 350°F . Take out quail from marinade, pat dry and fry until golden brown. Drain, Sprinkle with powdered cardamom. Serve with Balinese Sambal Matah.