A Goan-style Chicken Cafreal

Back in those days where Goa was every 20 something’s dream destination for every single holiday, I was lucky enough to have friends who either grew up or studied in Goa and were excellent in recommending the authentic Goan hidden gems. I am talking about the world’s bestest Cafreal, Xacuti and Sorpotel. At times when I could manage to convince my friends about these extremely hidden tiny places with my “Oh, they have Rum for Rs. 40 too” we would take our scooters and venture out. Despite getting lost in light-less bylanes and often being at the receiving end of some seriously pissed off vegetarian friends. These turned out to be some of the best yet extremely underrated (Goan) dishes that I ever experience in my life.

Soon, Goa turned into those “luxury South Goa holidays” or “friends getting married on a beach holiday” and I moved on to explore other parts of the world. However, the nostalgia that is Goa; linger on through the endless King’s pints, shrimp cocktail at Tito’s, Green apple Sheesha at St. Anthony’s, chilli crabs at Infanteria and Chicken Cafreal.

Chicken Cafreal. The Portuguese brought this dish from Mozambique to Goa, both of which we the former Portuguese colonies. The cute Goan people added their charm and lot of coriander to it. The result was a divine dish that sends you straight to food heaven.


Marinade and Sauce:
1 medium-sized onion
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 fresh green Chili (I used less for the white husbandman at home to survive)
1 Tbsp Coriander seeds +1 Tbsp Cumin seeds
A bunch of fresh Coriander leaves
½ Teaspoon Garam Masala
Lemon juice + Salt & Pepper to taste

400-500 gms Boneless chicken or thighs
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 small Onion chopped


  • Blend all the ingredients from the marinade to a smooth paste and keep aside.
  • Massage the chicken with the marinade paste for 1 hour to overnight.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the chopped onion until translucent. Add the chicken with the marination and cook until oil starts separating while adding some water every few mins. Cook for about 15 minutes. Add some more water and cook until the chicken is soft and tender. Make sure the sauce/curry/gravy consistency is not too dry.
  • Serve with fresh coriander and lemon on the side.