Moroccan food is very much its own cuisine. The herbs and spices are numerous and subtle, enhancing rather than overpowering the flavour of food. Here’s a dish for poultry lovers that’s bursting with Moroccan spice flavours by executive chef Sven Cepon of Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa.
Cumin, thyme, paprika, and coriander combined bring out the natural flavours of the birds and transform a common bird into a flame-cooked smokey triumph. The accompanied traditional Sri-Lanka chutney, a blend of fresh dates and lemons date and lemon serves as a great side with the birds and the homemade spicy Harissa sauce adds a touch of “hot” to your meal.
Moroccan Spiced BBQ Quail:
12 boned Quails, butterflied
250ml Olive Oil
2 tblespn Honey
4 Star Anise
½ bunch of Thyme
4 cloves of Garlic, sliced
2 teaspn Paprika
Ground Black Pepper
2teaspn ground Cumin
2 teaspn ground Coriander
4 Cinnamon Quills, broken
1 teaspn Chilli Flakes
Large pinch of Saffron
- Combine all ingredients together, pour over the quails, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Soak 24 bamboo skewers in water for 30 mins.
- Drain the marinade off the quails and push two skewers through each quail diagonally across each other so the quail sits flat.
- Prepare barbecue (high heat). Place the quails on the barbecue. Grill 3 to 4 mins on each side (time depends on size of quails, 3 to 4 mins for 500g quail) until golden brown, remove the quails from the barbecue and cover it with foil to cook through. Give it another 3 mins to rest in the foil so the quails stay juicy .
- Serve hot with couscous, date-lemon chutney and Harissa sauce.
6 medium Lemons, zest and flesh finely chopped
2 tblspns Salt
4 cloves of Garlic
100ml extra Lemon Juice
100ml Cider Vinegar
1 tblspn finely grated Ginger
1 teaspn Cardamom Seeds, finely ground
1 teaspn Coriander Seeds, finely ground
½ teaspn Chilli Flakes
225g Brown Sugar
200g fresh Dates, stoned and chopped small
- Mix the chopped lemon, lemon zest and juice with the salt and leave overnight.
- The next day, place the lemon mixture in a heavy pan with all other ingredients except the sugar and dates.
- Bring slowly to the boil and simmer for 5 mins.
- Add the sugar and dates and gently simmer for 45 mins to an hour, until thick and well reduced.
- Stir from time to time so that it doesn’t stick and burn.
- Pour into sterilized jars and store for at least 6 weeks before eating.
30 Dried Long Red Chillies
9 cloves of Garlic
1 ½ teaspoon of salt
180ml Olive Oil
3 teaspn Ground Coriander
3 teaspn Ground Caraway Seeds
1 ½ teaspn Ground Cumin
- Remove the stalks and seeds from the chillies and soak in hot water for 30 mins.
- Blend chilli, garlic salt and olive oil together.
- Add the remaining spices and blend.
See also, Grilled Prawn, Haloumi and Watermelon Salad recipe by chef Sven Cepon.
Executive chef Sven Cepon is born in Oberhausen of Germany. He began his career at home and served with a number of five-star hotels in Cyprus and Switzerland for over five years before moving to the Maldives in 2008 as Executive Sous Chef for the W Retreat and Spa Maldives. After having served W Maldives for nearly two years, Sven joined Sheraton Maldives in 2010.
Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, is a tropical paradise located on its own island (Furanafushi) in North Male’ Atoll. It is a magnet for those seeking stunning white sandy beaches and warm turquoise lagoons. Part of Sheraton Maldives appeal is the varied dining options. Choose to dine under a starlit sky, with soft sand beneath your feet or beside the shimmering lagoon with that special someone.
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