Moroccan Slow-cooked stew: Quails with semi-confit of pears

Quails or chicken mqalli or mqualli with pears is a festive dish served in happy events but you can also just make it when you can get hold of fruity and sweet firm pears.


Serves 2 to 4 persons
Prep: 15 min - Cooking : 90 min 

The chicken mq'alli
  • 1 baby chicken or 2 quails, cleaned and brined at least 6 hours (in water, vinegar or lemon and sea salt)
  • 1 ½ medium-size red or yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of ginger powder
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp of white pepper powder (you may use black pepper)
  • A tiny bouquet of coriander/parsley (optional)
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • ½ tsp of saffron threads
  • 1 tsp of smen (aged and cured butter, optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp of caster sugar or honey
The pears
  • 750 g of medium-size pears (about 4 to 5), a bit firm
  •  40g of butter
  • 50 g of caster sugar
  • 1 cup of the chicken sauce (above)
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon powder
  • 2 tbsp of orange blossom water
To serve
  • Almonds, fried and crushed roughly or roasted sesame seeds


Follow me on to learn more about this wonderful dish that won't fail to impress.

Making the caramelized thick onion gravy-paste


  1. Omg, super inviting dish..lovely flavours.

  2. Thanks Priya! I like the new look of your blog by the way..


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