Maha’s Shane Delia wants us all to gather around the table for celebratory feasts of small plates, slow roasts, warm breads, spicy dips and fragrant rice dishes, all imbued with the seductive spices of the Middle East. ‘As long as I have good food, and family and friends to share it with, my life is complete,’ he says.


  • The quail

  • 500g Maltese sausages, removed from casings

  • 100g soaked coarse burghul

  • 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

  • 1 tsp crushed garlic

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 4 quail – butterflied, leaving the bird intact

  • 8 vines leaves

  • Garlic and dill labneh

  • 300g thick yoghurt

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 3 tbsp chopped dill

  • 50ml olive oil

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • Heirloom tomato salad

  • 12 mixed heirloom tomatoes, cut in half

  • 1 sprig or tarragon, picked

  • 1 sprig of fresh za’atar, picked

  • 8 kalamata olives, cut into cheeks

  • 2 diced shallots

  • 3 tbsp chives, cut into 1 inch batons

  • sherry vinegar and olive oil to taste

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 100 g gbeniet crumbled, or feta if unavailable


  • The quail:

  • 1.

    Mix all ingredients together (except for the quail and vine leaves)

  • 2.

    Roll into 4 balls

  • 3.

    Lay the bird out flat with the flesh facing up, season with salt and pepper and place the ball in the centre of the bird

  • 4.

    Fold the bird together so it looks whole

  • 5.

    Wrap in vine leaf to keep the bird together

  • 6.

    Bake at 220C for ten minutes and allow to rest in a warm place for another ten minutes

  • 7.


  • Garlic and dill labneh:

  • 1.

    Hang the yoghurt in cheese cloth in the fridge to remove excess liquid

  • 2.

    Fold through the remainder of the ingredients and store in an air tight container

  • 3.

    Gently mix all of the ingredients together and serve with the quail

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

  • Energy 1081kj
  • Fat Total 76g
  • Saturated Fat 22g
  • Protein 55g
  • Carbohydrate 50g
  • Sugar 18g
  • Sodium 1867mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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