Paliyakudi Ammachi Kaada - Grilled Quail with a Mint and Green Chilli Marinade.

Paliyakudi is a tribal village in the Idukki district of Kerala. Ammachi is the word for grandmother. Kaada means quail.

The people of Paliyakudi were traditionally animal farmers and also existed by hunting, fishing and honey collection. Grandmothers cooked for the family using quail the family raised and spices from the lands surrounding them. Traditionally, a bit of fresh turmeric and bird’s eye chillies were used.

This recipe is a recreation of this beloved dish which the chefs at 50 Mile Diet Restaurant in Spice Village collected from the Paliyakudi people. Feel free to add a small amount of fresh turmeric if you have it, and to up the spicing with bird’s eye chillies if you don’t find the green chillies we’ve used, spicy enough.

Paliyakudi Ammachi Kaada – Grilled quail with a mint and green chilli marinade Recipe

2 servings but may be easily multiplied


2 (3 – 4 ounce) quail
2 teaspoons ginger paste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 green chilli, seeded and chopped
1 cup mint Leaves
1 large shallot, roughly chopped
1 lime, juiced and juice set aside
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt


  1. Remove the legs, neck and wings from the quail. Tip: You can freeze them to add to a poultry based broth at a later time.
  2. Combine the ginger, pepper, chilli, mint leaves, shallot, lime juice, olive oil and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to make fine paste.
  3. Rub the mint paste onto the quail (inside and out) and marinate for 1 hour.
  4. Grill the quail on a rack preferably over a charcoal fire (or gas grill if that’s what you have).
  5. Serve hot with with your favourite chutneys, rice and vegetable side dishes.

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