Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

Kaadai Biryani (Quail Biriyani)

 Published 2013-Nov-18   Updated 2013-Dec-12

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Quail Biryani, Quail Pulao, Peasant bird cooked with royal basmati rice and spices)

Recipe For Quail Biryani


  • Basmati rice - 2 cups
  • Quail (Kaadai) - 4 (each kaadai cut into 4-5 pieces)
  • Onion - 1 large / 2 small (chopped)
  • Tomato - 2 (finely chopped or crushed)
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves - ¼ cup (finely chopped)
  • Mint leaves - ¼ cup (finely chopped)
  • Green chillies - 5 no's (finely chopped)
  • Oil -3 tbsp
  • Ghee - 3 tbsp
  • Water-Coconut milk mixture - 3 cups ( 1/2 cup coconut milk diluted with remaining water)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Whole Garam Masala - 1 Bay leaf, 2 Cinnamon sticks, 1 Star Anise, 5 Cloves, 3 Cardamom

For Marination

  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Yogurt - 2 tbsp
  • Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
  • Ginger garlic paste -1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 3 tsp
  • Chilli Powder - 3 tsp
  • Fennel Powder - 2 tsp
  • Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala - 1 tsp
  • Pepper powder - ½ tsp

NOTE: Bachelors and beginners can use 2 tbsp yogurt, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 3 tbsp of store bought biryani masala instead of all the above individual spice powders.

Preparation Steps

  1. Wash the quail thoroughly. It may have small hair like feathers that you need to pluck (To avoid this remove the skin of the quail). Cut each into maximum 5 pieces. Since the kaadai is bony and smaller than chicken, you need to cut it into big pieces.
  2. Marinate using all ingredients from "For marination" and let it rest in the refrigerator for about half an hour.
  3. Rinse the rice, soak it for 15-30 minutes, drain all water from it and keep aside.
  4. I like to roast the rice with some ghee till a nice aroma comes. This prevents the rice from sticking to each other. You can skip this step if you don't have time.


  1. In a heavy deep vessel or pressure cooker heat oil and ghee together. Once it gets heated up, add the whole garam masala. You can grind the garam masala and add it if you do not like whole masala coming in your mouth.
  2. Add the onions and chopped green chillies.
  3. When onions turn slightly brown, add the ginger garlic paste, chopped coriander and mint leaves. Fry for few minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes and sauté. The tomatoes will first become pulpy and then all the juices will dry up.
  5. At this stage add the marinated quail (kaadai) along with all the marination mixture. Sauté everything for 5-10 minutes.

After this step, you can proceed in any one of the following ways depending on the vessel you are using:

Cooking in a pressure cooker

  1. Add the coconut milk and water mixture and required salt. Bring it to a boil. Add the soaked rice, check for all seasoning and adjust if needed.
  2. After it boils, reduce the flame to simmer, cover the pressure cooker and put the whistle.
  3. Cook for about 20-30 minutes. (You may not get any whistle as the flame is very low. Just switch off after 20-30 minutes and the biryani will be done. If you increase the flame, there are chances that the bottom might get burned.)

Using a rice cooker

  1. Add the prepared gravy, soaked rice, required salt and the water-coconut milk mixture in the rice cooker. Mix well and adjust any seasoning if needed.
  2. Switch on the rice cooker and cook till it is done.

Cooking in an open vessel

  1. Add the coconut milk and water mixture to the gravy and bring it to a boil. Add the soaked rice, adjust the seasoning and bring it to a boil again.
  2. Cover the pan with a tight lid to prevent the steam from escaping. Reduce the flame to the lowest possible setting and leave it for half an hour.
  3. (You can use an aluminium foil to cover the top of the pan and then put the lid if the lid is not very tight. That way no steam will escape.)

Cooking in convection oven

  1. Add the gravy and soaked rice to a oven safe dish along with water and coconut milk mixture and mix well.
  2. Cover the dish tightly with an aluminium foil to prevent the steam from escaping. Cook it for 45 minutes in a 350 degree F (180 degree C) oven.

Cooking in Microwave Oven

  1. Add the gravy and soaked rice to a microwave safe dish/ micro cooker along with water and coconut milk mixture and mix well.
  2. Check for salt, cover the dish and cook it on micro power high for 20 minutes.

Whichever method you follow, your whole house will be filled with the aroma of basmati rice cooking with quail meat. In about an hours time you will have a tasty kaadai biryani to enjoy with all your five senses.

Serving Suggestion

Kaadai Biriyani

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Comments (8)

Person   ()
Quail can be marinated and kept for overnight so that it enhances the flavor of Quail. We can also add saffron to the rice which will give a rich look and will add on the flavours.
Person   ()
Thank you for sharing your tips.
Person   ()
I used chicken cause not sure where to find "quail". It was fantastic.  I used my un-glazed pure clay pot which was gifted to me about a year ago and ever since then I have replaced most of my metal and ceramic ware.  The food tastes much better and i think these unglazed pots are easier to use--food dosent stick to the bottom and easy to clean.  The special steam locker lid seal all the nutrients in the food.
Person   ()
Good. Enjoy!!!

You can find quail in asian grocery stores.
Person   ()
It's looking good. We missed this Biriyani.
Person   ()
Hi Radhika, This picture was taken when I was there. We got Quail from Sun foods.
Person   ()
What is Quail ?
Person   ()
Its a small bird. Looks like a chick. It is a delicacy in many places. You can get more information here.

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 Published by on and last updated on 2013-12-12.