Chicken Cafrael

IMG_20150702_130901.wmChicken cafrael is one great dish from the goan cuisine. On our recent visit to goa I had this dish and totally fell in love with it. On the last day of our travel when we asked our driver to take us to a good place for lunch, he took us to an old restaurant called Florentine. He also asked us to try their chicken cafrael since its a very popular recipe there. As he told it really stood out of all the other dishes we tried there. We were glad that we visited that place; its definitely a place to be not missed if you are travelling to Goa. Another thing I liked about goan cuisine is the names of the dishes, vindaloo, xacuti, bebinca (a yummy goan dessert), sounded new to me from the usual menu. Infact even after returning to Bangalore I was asking my hubby to take me to some goan restaurant to have this cafrael and bebinca again. So sometime back when I thought of trying this one I came across this recipe which I felt was something similar to what we had tasted. I did some minor changes to the recipe to suit our taste. It turned out good and my son asked me to make it one more time for him, so time to save the recipe.

Adapted from Goanfoodrecipes


Chicken – ½ kg (cleaned and cut into 4 or 5 big pieces)
Oil – 1.5 tablespoon
Butter – 1 teaspoon
Salt – to taste

To grind

Coriander(cilantro) leaves – ½ a bunch (4 or 5 stocks)
Green chilies – 3-4
Ginger – 1.5 inch piece
Garlic cloves – 6-7
Poppy seeds – 1/2 tablespoon (soak in water for some time)
Peppercorns – 7
Cinnamon – 1 small piece
Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
Tamarind – 1 teaspoon
Cloves – 2-3


  1. Grind the ingredients in the list to a fine paste, adding little water. Add it to the cleaned chicken and marinate for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the marinated chicken pieces (reserve the marinade) and saute until brown colouring occurs on the sides of the chicken pieces.
  3. Now add the remaining marinate and butter, mix well. When it comes to a boil, cook covered in low flame for 30 to 40 mins till its done and the oil separates out (Check for water in between; if it looks very dry, little water can be added else not needed). Serve with rotis. Traditionally its served with a goan bread called poee.


  1. Reduce the oil and increase the butter for more taste.
  2. More the marination time, better the flavour; original recipe asks for overnight marination.