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Roast Tandoori Pheasant

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Indian food doesn’t get much better than this!

Roast Pheasant

One of the things I have liked most about my year of cooking and eating nothing but Indian food is all the different flavours I have been able to try and enjoy.

Before ‘going Indian’ I was already a feathered game fan. I absolutely love all the traditional British game recipes I’ve been able to learn since moving here from the US.

Cooking game in an Indian way has opened up a whole new passion for Indian cuisine and feathered game.

The roast pheasant I used in this recipe were shot in a field about a minute’s walk from my front garden. The hunters in my village are always very generous with their shoot and ensure I have a new selection every Friday.

I hanged these pheasants along with other game birds in my garage for about ten days to let the flavours mature. I recommend doing this if you can get freshly shot pheasants that haven’t been plucked and gutted yet.

This recipe works well with any feathered game.

If you have trouble finding game in your area, you could of course use chicken, poussin or quail.

The long marinading time tenderises the birds and gives them an incredible flavour.

Yield: 2 - 4

Real Indian Food - Roast Tandoori Pheasant With A Pilau Rice Stuffing

Real Indian Food - Roast Tandoori Pheasant With A Pilau Rice Stuffing
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 55 minutes


  • 2 small female pheasants
  • for the marinade
  • 250ml plain yogurt
  • 6 cloves garlic - smashed into a paste with a drop of water
  • 1 inch ginger - sliced and then smashed into a paste with a drop of water
  • 3 green chillies - very finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon roasted cumin seeds - ground to a powder
  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 small bunch chopped coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • 1 bottle of the finest rioja you can find


  1. Blend all of the marinade ingredients until smooth.
  2. Cover the pheasants inside and out with the marinade and leave to marinate for 4 to 24 hours. The longer the better!
  3. When you're ready to cook, pre-heat your oven to 200c (400f).
  4. Remove most of the marinade from the pheasants and stuff them with a few tablespoons of pilau rice.  Plain white Basmati rice will work really well here too.
  5. Place the pheasants on a rack in the centre of the oven.
  6. Cook for about 40 minutes until the juice run clear. Be careful not to over cook the birds. They can be served a little red in the centre if you like.
  7. Serve with the pilau rice and a green salad and garnish with the lemon quarters.
  8. Oh and don't forget the bottle of rioja. It goes so well with this dish.
  9. This is not a dish you see often. It just goes to show that Indian food is so much more than chicken tikka masala and pappadams.

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Simon Owen

Thursday 24th of December 2015

Hi there,

I made this tandoori pheasant this week and it was AMAZING! Really enjoyed it. Thank you!

I bought your app (and bought the upgrade) as a result and there is loads of tasty looking things! Will the pheasant recipe be added to the app so I don't forget it.

Thanks very much,


Dan Toombs

Tuesday 29th of December 2015

Thanks Simon!

Yes, it will be added at some point. I am planning on updating the app at least three time per year. :-)


Phil Joyce

Friday 3rd of February 2012

The rice you stuff the birds with: Is it cooked, or does it cook inside the birds with their juices?

Dan Toombs

Saturday 4th of February 2012

Hi Phil

I have tried it several ways. The original recipe from India recommended raw rice. I have found, however that half cooked rice works better in my oven.

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