Chicken Cafreal | Classic Goan Chicken Cafreal Recipe
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
  • Chicken – 800 gms, bone-in (preferably drumsticks & thighs)
  • Onion – 1, large, thinly sliced
  • Green chillies – 4 to 6, depending on the heat you can handle
  • Coriander leaves – a big bunch, around 100 gms
  • Garlic – 10 to 15 cloves
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Poppy seeds (khus-khus) – 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Cloves – 8 to 10
  • Black peppercorn – 6 to 8
  • Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Tamarind paste – 1 tbsp
  • Lemon – 1
  • Vegetable oil – 6 to 8 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  1. Wash the chicken and pat dry the chicken drumsticks thoroughly. Season with salt and set aside.
  2. Now make the cafreal spice paste by grinding together the coriander leaves, ginger, garlic, green chillies, poppy seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric powder and tamarind. Add few spoons of water if required but not too much. This will be a coarse paste.
  3. Apply the cafreal spice paste to the chicken and rub it into the pieces well. Cover and marinate it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed skillet. Add the sliced onion and saute them ft 6 to 8 minutes until the onions are translucent and soft.
  5. Tip in the marinated chicken into the oil and saute on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Once the chicken is browned, cover and cook on low heat, turning them occasionally until the chicken is cooked through which would take about 35 to 40 minutes. [If the chicken sticks to the bottom of the pan, add couple of splashes of water; but make sure to dry out all the water once the chicken is completely cooked.]
  6. Sprinkle fresh chopped cilantro and drizzle with lemon juice. Serve delicious chicken cafreal warm with green salad on the side!
Take the marinated chicken out from the refrigerator at least an hour before you start cooking so that you don't throw in the chilled chicken into the hot oil!
Recipe by Flavor Quotient at