Quail on quinoa tabboula

Quail on quinoa tabboula

Cairo Kitchen
Jonathan Gregson

Quinoa is still relatively unknown in Egypt, but this ‘superfood of the Incas’ has more protein than any other grain and is considered a complete protein as it contains all eight essential amino acids. For this recipe, we have replaced bulgur wheat with quinoa in the traditional Middle Eastern salad tabboula and it makes a perfect base for the pan-fried quail. We have used quail breasts, but the legs work just as well. This dish can be served as a starter or in small portions as mezza.


Quantity Ingredient
8 quail breasts
50ml olive oil
dash pomegranate molasses
pomegranate seeds, to garnish

For the marinade

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 orange, juiced
1 cinnamon stick
2 garlic cloves, sliced
freshly ground black pepper

For the quinoa tabboula

Quantity Ingredient
60g quinoa
2 tablespoons pine nuts
100g fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 tomato, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons, juiced


  1. For the marinade, mix together the pomegranate molasses, orange juice, cinnamon, garlic and salt and pepper, to taste. Marinate the quail breasts in the mix for an hour in the fridge.
  2. To make the tabboula, wash the quinoa thoroughly in cold running water, then place in a saucepan containing 180ml cold water and bring up to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked and all the water has been absorbed. Set aside to cool.
  3. Toast the pine nuts by placing in a dry frying pan over a medium heat and stirring for 2 to 3 minutes until they turn golden brown.
  4. Add the pine nuts and all the remaining ingredients to the quinoa and stir together until well combined.
  5. Remove the quail from the marinade. Heat the 50 ml olive oil in a hot frying pan, then sear the quail on the skin side for a couple of minutes until the skin starts to crisp. Turn onto the other side and continue to cook for 1 minute. Before removing the quail from the heat, add a dash more pomegranate molasses.
  6. To serve, place each quail breast on a bed of the quinoa tabboula and scatter with the pomegranate seeds.
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