Quail mulligatawny


This mulligatawny recipe is a comforting and delicious dish from The Gilbert Scott. Perfect for the winter months, Marcus Wareing combines quails and the curry spice of Colonial India's mulligatawny soup in this cosy starter. Crispy onion rings add extra texture and flavour to the dish.

First published in 2015
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Mulligatawny soup

Onion rings

  • 1 large onion, sliced into rings
  • 300g of breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 tbsp of plain flour
  • vegetable oil


  • Deep-fryer


To begin, cook the lentils in simmering water for approximately 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside until needed
Melt the butter in a pan and add the onion, apple and a pinch of salt. Cook, without colouring, for 3–4 minutes until they begin to soften
Add the curry powder and flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently until fragrant
  • 2 tbsp of plain flour
  • 2 tbsp of mild curry powder
Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to remove the sediment. Simmer for 2 minutes, then pass the stock through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan
  • 300ml of chicken stock
Add the coconut milk and sweet potato to the soup and simmer for about 10 minutes until the sweet potato is cooked and the soup is thick. Add the cooked lentils, heat through and season to taste
To prepare the quails, place the chicken stock, thyme and garlic into a pan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer
  • 1l chicken stock
  • 1/4 bunch of thyme, tied together with string
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
Add the quails and simmer for 2–3 minutes
Remove the quails with a slotted spoon and drain on sheets of kitchen paper
When cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to carefully cut the quail breasts away from the bone in one piece. Remove the legs from the carcasses
Heat a frying pan until hot and add the oil and butter. Once the butter is foaming, season the quail breasts and legs then place, skin-side down, in the pan. Fry for 3–5 minutes or until there is moderate resistance when the thickest part of the breast is squeezed (or until completely cooked through if you prefer) and the legs are crispy
  • 25g of butter
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
Remove the meat from the pan and leave to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes
Preheat a deep-fryer to 180°C
  • vegetable oil
Whilst the meat is resting, make the onion rings. Dip each slice of onion in flour, then beaten egg, then breadcrumbs. Deep-fry until golden and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper
To serve, spoon the lentils and sweet potato into the bottom of each dish and place the quail legs on top, followed by the quail breasts. Pour over the soup and garnish with the deep-fried onion rings and coriander cress
First published in 2015

Marcus Wareing defines his inimitable cooking style as 'not British cuisine, not French cuisine – it’s Marcus cuisine.'

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