Goan Chicken Cafreal Recipe

Chicken Cafreal

Chicken Cafreal‘ is an aromatic, delicious and low-effort recipe from beautiful coastal state – Goa, India. Cafreal was introduced to Goan Cuisine by the Portuguese which is traditionally served with fried potatoes. Recipe is pretty straightforward where chicken is marinated and cooked with cafreal masala. This cafreal paste is a fiery, flavour-packed blend of coriander, chillies and bunch of whole spices. And that’s how recipe gets it’s dark green colour. Unlike other Goan recipes, this one doesn’t require any coconut while prepared using simply cafreal masala.

This aromatic chicken recipe has warmth, subtle heat from chillies and freshness of coriander. It is best enjoyed with dinner rolls or traditional Goan buns, but its so good that you can indulge on its own. And don’t forget to serve fried potatoes along with it, they taste delectable with cafreal masala. A little coriander looks good too when sprinkled over the top with lime wedges.

Chicken Cafreal


800 gms of chicken (I have used curry cuts)

3 tightly packed cups of fresh coriander along with stems

4 green chillies (adjust chillies as per heat)

4-5 garlic cloves

2 inch long ginger

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp cumin seeds

5-6 cloves

2 inch long cinnamon sticks

1/2 lime juice

1 tsp turmeric powder

salt as per taste

2 large potatoes

1 tbsp oil

Water as required

Freshly chopped coriander and lime wedges for serving


Wash chicken pieces and if required give gashes to bigger pieces. Preferably, use chicken with bones, it tastes best in the recipe. Season with salt.

Start preparing cafreal masala – Add coriander leaves, chilies, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, lime juice to blender jar and form a thick, fine paste.

Marinate the chicken with thick cafreal paste. Overnight marination is preferred otherwise marinate for 45-60 minutes.

Once enough marinated, warm the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat.

Fry the marinated chicken pieces in hot oil over medium heat.

Meanwhile, slice the washed potatoes. I use potatoes with skin but if liked, you can de-skin the potato. You can either slice them or make wedges.

Transfer the sliced potatoes to hot pan.

Season with salt and fry them on medium heat. Add oil as required.

When chicken is almost 80% cooked, add about 1 cup of water and cook it further.

Allow to cook for another 8-10 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked. Once chicken is ready, colour of the gravy also changes to dark green.

You can adjust the consistency of gravy and add water accordingly. I like to keep thick gravy or dry.

Check seasoning and add salt if required.

Also check our potatoes, cook them golden brown from both sides.

Spicy- juicy chicken cafreal is ready, serve it with potatoes. It tastes delicious with some crusty bread.

I hope you enjoyed this post and do let me know incase of any feedback/suggestions.

If you liked my post, then do check out my other recipes and follow me on Pinterest || Instagram || Twitter

Chicken Cafreal

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