Clean and wash the quail thoroughly. Use them whole or chop them into small bite-size pieces. Set aside.
Fill a large pot with light coconut milk enough to cover the quails, and add the fresh turmeric, lemongrass and shallots and bring to a simmer.
Add the quails and braise covered on medium low heat.
Once the quail are tender and their skin tinted yellow, remove them from the pot, discard the cooking liquids and the aromatics. . Set aside.
Prepare the aromatics:
Bruise and peel lemongrass. Cut it into large pieces. Set aside.
Peel and bruise the shallots. Set aside.
Pick the leaves of the lemon basil. Set aside.
Prepare the curry paste:
An overview of the curry paste ingredients.
De-seed the fresh yellow chilies and slice them into thin pieces. Set aside.
Pound the curry paste: start with the fresh yellow chilies, the salt and the white peppercorns.
Gradually add the other ingredients, from the driest to the wet. After pounding the chilies, add the lemongrass and, while pounding it, gradually add the turmeric. Continue pounding the paste until it is smooth with an orange color that is to your satisfaction.
Add the shallots and garlic.
Add the fermented shrimp paste (kapi) and continue pounding until a rounded aroma is achieved.
Remove the curry paste and set it aside. Wash the mortar and pestle with about one cup of plain water and reserve the liquids.
Cook the curry:
In a brass wok, heat the coconut cream until it thickens and oil appears. Scoop out a small portion to drizzle on top of the finished curry.
Add the curry paste.
Fry the paste until it loses its rawness.
Stop the frying with plain water and the liquids collected from cleaning the pestle and mortar.
Important: At this stage, in order to separate the oil particles created during the paste-frying process from the rest of the broth, mix gently to avoid re-emulsification of the oil.
Diluting the curry:
Dilute the curry with coconut milk and chicken stock to your liking.
Add the quail and mix gently. Braise the quail in the curry until they are fully cooked.
When the quail are almost cooked, add the bruised lemongrass stalks and bruised whole shallots.
Season to a salty leading with a sour-sweet floor flavor profile – and taste before seasoning! Start by seasoning the salty element, using fish sauce.
When you are satisfied with the saltiness, add palm sugar at the ratio indicated.
Add tamarind paste at the ratio indicated.
Adding the herbs:
Turn off the heat before adding the lemon basil. Spread the lemon basil equally on top of the curry and gently push it into the broth, allowing it to wilt down. Do not stir vigorously!
Plate and serve:
Put the curry into a serving bowl. Garnish with thinly sliced fresh shallots and drizzle thick coconut cream over it. Serve!