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Barbecued quail with sweet-and-sour syrup

A Middle-Eastern inspired banquet dish recipe from Austrlian Gourmet Traveller for barbecued quail with sweet and sour syrup by chef Joseph Abboud.

By Joseph Abboud
  • Serves 6
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Barbecued quail with sweet-and-sour syrup


  • 1 small onion, finely grated
  • Pinch saffron, dry toasted, ground, then dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
  • ½ tsp each ground ginger and cardamom
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 quails, boned (about 200gm each)
Sweet and sour syrup
  • 80 ml Iranian verjuice (see note) (1/3 cup)
  • 2 tbsp grape molasses
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp lemon juice


  • 1
    Combine onion, spices and oil in a bowl. Arrange quails in a single layer in a dish, pour over onion mixture and mix well to combine, then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • 2
    For syrup, combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring just
    to the boil, then set aside.
  • 3
    Heat a barbecue or chargrill pan over medium-high heat. Thread quails onto metal skewers and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through. Serve quail drizzled with syrup.


Note Iranian verjuice is more tart than European verjuices. It and grape molasses are available from Middle Eastern grocery stores.

  • Author: Joseph Abboud