Goa, a small state on the western coast of India, is famous for its beautiful beaches, lovely people, fantastic food, and a vibrant culture. Goan cuisine is not limited to the amazing seafood that we usually associate this coastal Indian state to. It has much more to offer than that. Sorportel, Xaccuti, Sanas, Bebinca – there are a lot of delicacies which are a must try if you want to get a grasp of the Goan cuisine. Chicken Cafreal is one such speciality without which a festive feast is not complete.
If you can’t be in Goa this holiday season, bring a taste of their festive flavours to your kitchen!
With a succulent deep-green colour from the coriander (cilantro) leaves, and intricately balanced aroma from various spices, this unique preparation will win over your taste buds.
The secret of this dish is in the marinade. Get it right, and let it work its magic for a few hours to get a scrumpdillyicious chicken dish for your festive dinner.
PS: If you liked this Cafreal recipe, please check out my Chicken Xacuti recipe as well.
- 1 kg chicken
- 6 green chillies
- 7 - 8 sprigs coriander (cilantro) leaves
- 1 inch ginger
- 10 - 12 pods garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3 cardamom
- 5 cloves
- 10 black peppercorn
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- to taste salt
- to taste butter (optional)
- Clean and cut the chicken into medium or big pieces. I used 1 kg chicken which was cut into 10 pieces. Score the meat with a knife so that our marinade can work its magic.
- Heat a pan, and dry fry the spices - cumin seeds, cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cloves. Switch off, and let it cool down.
- Slice the green chillies lengthwise, and deseed them. Chop the ginger, garlic, and coriander leaves.
- In a blender, grind the fried spices and the ingredients in step 3 by adding a little water at a time until you get a smooth paste. This is our Cafreal marinade.
- In a mixing bowl add the chicken pieces, half of the Cafreal marinade, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well, using your hands, until all the chicken pieces are evenly coated with the marinade. Cover with a cling film, and refrigerate for 5-6 hours. Keep the remaining half of the marinade also refrigerated. If you are in a rush, you can probably skip or reduce the marinating time. But if you want an authentic great taste, don't skip the marination step. I usually marinate overnight.
- Heat some butter (or oil) in a thick-bottomed pan. Let's start by searing the chicken. Fry to get a nice, light-brown colour. Now add the remaining marinade that we had kept aside.
- Mix well, and cook on a low flame with the lid closed. Open the lid after 15 minutes. You'll notice that chicken is perfectly cooked in the marinade and all the juices from chicken.
- Give it a gentle stir, and reduce until you get a thick, sticky coating on the chicken pieces. Serve with salad, fries and pav (bread).