Goan Chicken Cafreal Recipe

This Portuguese-influenced dish known as Chicken Cafreal or Galinha Cafreal is quite popular in the Goan Cuisine. The chicken is marinated with cafreal masala, a flavorful green spice paste. Here’s what goes into making this delectable dish.

Preparation Time – 10 mins                                                                                         

Cooking Time – 25 mins

Total Time – 35 mins

Course – Main Course

Cuisine – Goan, Indian                                                                                    

 Servings – 4


  • 750 gm of bone-in, curry-cut chicken
  • 1 bouquet of stemmed coriander leaves
  • Ginger, 2 inches, peeled
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic
  • 3–4 green peppers
  • Cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp.
  • Black peppercorns, 1/2 tsp.
  • Cinnamon stick, 1 inch
  • Vinegar/Goan Vinegar, 2 tablespoons
  • Fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp.
  • Salt as desired
  • Turmeric powder, 1/2
  • Lime juice, half
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • slice of lime


  • Pat dry the chicken and score it with a sharp knife.
  • Add coriander leaves with stems, ginger, garlic, green chillies, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, vinegar, and fennel seeds to a grinding jar, and grind to make a smooth semi-thick paste which is known as cafreal paste.
  • Add salt, turmeric, and lime juice once the paste is ready.
  • Marinate the chicken with the cafreal paste/masala and let it sit for an hour.
  • Add and heat oil to a heavy bottom pan
  • Place the marinated chicken into the pan (don’t overcrowd it) and cook it for 7-8 minutes each side or until cooked.
  • Once done, garnish with onion and lime wedges. Serve hot with potato wedges and salad.

This dish is hot, rustic, tangy, fragrant, and completely wonderful all at the same time! You can also have it as a curry with pulao or bread, adjusting the liquid as needed.

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Jigyasa Sharma


Jigyasa is a multi-talented professional, boasting an impressive background in journalism, content editing, and travel. Now a freelance writer, she leverages her diverse experiences to craft content that strikes a chord with readers, masterfully conveying her thoughts and emotions in an engaging and relatable manner.