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Goan Chicken Cafreal Recipe

Goan Chicken Cafreal Recipe

Goan cuisine is a mixture of Portuguese and Indian flavors which creates food that is spicy, tasty,strong and does justice to the coastal location of the state with an abundance of coconuts and seafood.

Very few dishes have the capability of enchanting and taking you to the core of heart and soul of a culture. One of them happens to be Chicken Cafreal, which is my personal favourite. It is also known as Galinha Cafreal.

Here, the chicken is marinated in a green paste for 8-12 hours and then pan-fried. This results in an amazing spicy tender chicken that is packed with the flavors of traditional Indian Spices like green chilli, ginger and garlic, etc.

Chicken Cafreal is very easy to prepare and can be made at home. It can be served dry or with gravy and can be eaten with pao  (plain bread ) or poi (traditional Goan bread) but you can also serve it with plain rice and roti too.

Here’s how you make Tradational Goan Chicken Cafreal


1 kg Chicken
Salt to taste
Oil for shallow frying
2- 3 Potatoes

For the Cafreal Masala (marinade):

6 – 8 Green Chillies
2 inch piece of Ginger
8-10 Cloves of Garlic
A bunch of Cilantro
1 tablespoon Poppy Seeds
8 Peppercorns
1 Big Piece Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
A Small ball of Tamarind
4 – 6 Cloves


  • Wash the chicken and cut into small pieces. Apply salt and set aside.
  • Grind together the chillies, coriander leaves, garlic, ginger, poppy seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, turmeric powder and tamarind into a fine paste.
  • Apply the ground paste to the chicken and let it marinate overnight.
  • In a deep pan put in oil enough for shallow frying. When heated put in the chicken and potatoes and allow it to cook evenly on both sides for 15 minutes, then add little water.
  • Cook for about 10-15 minutes, till the chicken is cooked but not too dry on medium heat.
  • When done, squeeze lime over the chicken and serve.
  • Serve hot with rice or pao or poi bread.

Your Chicken Cafreal is now ready to eat. Serve hot with Pao/Poi Bread or Rice.

Hope you enjoyed this Recipe, feel free to check out our other Traditional Indian Recipes as well.

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