Goan delicacy – Chicken Cafreal

Chicken Cafreal

Goa is a small, beautiful state of India and Goan cuisine has a Portuguese influence to a great extent. Goan food is mostly sea food based but the chicken dishes are also famous. Chicken Cafreal, being one of them was introduced to Goan Cuisine by the Portuguese that is traditionally served with fried potatoes.

Main ingredient of Cafreal recipe is coriander or cilantro and that’s how it gets the dark green colour. This recipe is all about chicken marination and turns out the best with overnight marination. Chicken Cafreal is best enjoyed with dinner rolls or traditional Goan buns, but its so good that you can indulge it on its own. And don’t forget to serve fried potatoes along with it, they taste delectable with cafreal masala.

So, lets jump to the recipe.


500 gms of chicken (preferably use legs or drumsticks)

2 tightly packed cups of fresh coriander along with stems

3 green chillies (adjust chillies as per spiciness)

4-5 garlic cloves

Inch long piece of ginger

2 bay leaves

1/2 tbsp black peppercorns

1 tsp cumin seeds

5-7 cloves

2 inch long cinnamon sticks

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tsp turmeric

salt as per taste

2 large potatoes

Oil for marination and frying


Wash and cut the chicken, if using leg pieces then make gashes into it. Apply salt and turmeric to chicken and keep it aside.

Next prepare cafreal masala – Add coriander leaves, chilies, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, lime juice to blender jar and form a thick paste (add very little water if required). Keep aside 2-3 tbsp of cafreal masala and marinate the chicken with rest. Add 2-3 tbsp of oil to the chicken and keep it aside at least 3-4 hours (overnight marination would be best).

Take a pan on high flame, once pan is hot add oil for frying. Add marinated chicken on hot pan and fry it from all sides.

In the mean time slice the potatoes and add salt to it. On a separate pan, fry potatoes till they turn golden brown from both sides.

Finally, when chicken is almost cooked add remaining cafreal masala to the chicken pan with some water. If you want gravy then adjust water accordingly. (Gravy is optional and you can serve it dry as well). Serve it with fried potatoes on side.

Hope you’ll love this recipe!!

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