Whenever I go to the morning market on Saturday, I always think about what my children would like to have for lunch or dinner. And as I pass by the stalls selling different kinds of vegetables, fish and poultry, I imagine myself preparing special dishes for them. Sometimes I buy some ingredients just to put in the freezer; to be at the ready whenever my children come home.
It was no different when I saw this couple smoking some quails and the aroma from the smoked quails was difficult to describe. I immediately imagined how much my children would enjoy eating those quails especially when cooked in hot coconut gravy (masak lemak cili api) instead of the ubiquitous chicken.
However, the smoked quails which I bought remained in the freezer for quite some time. I actually waited for my children to come home to turn them into a dish. And after toiling in the kitchen, albeit a satisfactory one, the dish was ready.
- 8 smoked quails, cut into two along the rib cage
- 20 birds eye chillies, pounded
- 5 shallots, pounded
- 2 cm fresh turmeric root, pounded
- 2 lemon grass, bruised
- 1 turmeric leaf, roughly torn
- 2 pieces Asam Gelugor
- 2 cups coconut cream mixed with 3 cups water
Place the quails, birds eye chillies, shallots, turmeric root and lemon grass with 1/4 cup water and leave to simmer for about five minutes. Pour in the coconut cream and carefully bring to a gentle simmer so the coconut cream doesn't curdle. Season with salt and leave to simmer for about eight minutes. Quails are ready to be served.