Chicken Cafreal my Personal Favorite

Chicken Cafreal my Personal Favorite

This is one of my all time favorite kind of chicken recipes, its like the tandoori chicken of Goa, except of course its green in colour. Since I was a kid cafreal chicken has made my mouth water. To date it still happens and its time for you to get a taste of this mouth watering cafreal chicken.

Cafreal Masala Ingredients:

Cafreal Masala Ingredients

7 – 8 Green Chillies
8 Stocks Coriander leaves.
2 inch piece of Ginger
13 – 14 Flakes of Garlic
1 Table spoon Khus Khus
7 Peppercorns
1 Big Piece Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Jeera
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi
A Small ball of Tamarind
4 – 6 Cloves


Cut clean and wash the chicken, apply the salt or some ginger garlic paste if you like and keep it aside.
Chicken with ginger garlic paste and salt

Grind all the ingredients into a fine paste. You can see the nice green color of the masala.
Ground cafreal masala

Apply it to the chicken
Add the cafreal masala to the chicken

Keep the chicken and the masala overnight. The longer you store it the better it is.
Keep the chicken overnight with the masala

Put a little oil and when hot add the chicken pieces.
Cook on slow fire

Add some butter and cook on a slow fire till done.
Add some butter as it gets ready

Serve with onions or salad.
Chicken cafreal with salad

Looks delicious doesn’t it.
Mouth watering chicken cafreal!

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103 Responses to Chicken Cafreal my Personal Favorite

  1. Anonymous November 3, 2008 at 6:02 pm #

    Dear Aunty,
    Thanks a million for this Chicken Cafreal recipe. I have been craving to eat this, above all its been years I last had back home in Goa. Though I found in the cookbooks, website; they never tasted the this way..the original way!!!
    Aunty it was yummy…
    Coming Sunday would try out roast chicken!!!
    Your blog is very descriptive with photos for each stage. Its an immense help for novice like me. I tried perada it turn out good because of your very simple description and photos. Wish to make again for x’mas. Aunty can teach me to prepare plum cake and vindaloo so I can make for this x’mas.
    Thanks a lot. Take care


  2. Zita Pereira December 17, 2008 at 10:54 am #

    Dear Aunty,
    I'm so glad i found this site. I was looking out for Doce recipe to make for this christmas & got more then what I was looking out for. Can you please also post the Doce recipe?
    I love the pictures cause they look so real like we cook back home in Goa.Thank you so much.Shalom………Zita

  3. The Sibyl January 12, 2009 at 5:16 am #

    Hello there, this is a great site keep up the good work.

    I am decendant of Goan Grandfather on my mothers side, and German on my Fathers side – born in Australia – what a mixup! Anyhow, interested in getting in touch with Goan roots, what better way to start than with food!

    One question though, I’ve worked out that Haldi is Tumeric, but not sure what Jeers are, can you help.


    • Rajendra Pawar July 3, 2017 at 4:56 pm #

      Jeera is cummin seeds πŸ™‚

    • Nivedita Naik September 20, 2017 at 2:05 pm #

      Jeera? That’s an Indian spice.. In English it’s called Cumin

    • Pascoal January 8, 2018 at 12:03 pm #

      Jeera is cumin seeds

    • Coelho January 19, 2018 at 5:11 pm #

      Jeera is Cumin

  4. priz March 4, 2009 at 5:53 pm #

    thanx a bunch…….will try out soon……looks delicious

  5. Anonymous March 4, 2009 at 5:53 pm #

    Jeera is cumin seeds

  6. Anonymous March 5, 2009 at 12:34 pm #



  7. Clyde March 5, 2009 at 12:59 pm #

    @ Ashley, thanks a lot for the praises πŸ™‚ I do hope you enjoyed your meal, there are lots of lovely dishes coming up so keep visiting!

    @ Zita Pereira, I am sorry we missed out on the Doce recipe, we usually do not make Doce but I will definetly try to do it for you by Christmas 2009

    @ Sibyl, I have not been responding to comments on this blog but now I will make sure I am regular! Someone has responded saying Jeera is Cumin Seeds and they are absolutely correct! Cheers!

    @ Anonymous, Thanks for the blessings, your name too would be a blessing!

    @ Anonymous, thank you for taking the time to help out with the Jeera! God Bless!

    @ Priz, Do let us know if you enjoyed it πŸ˜€

    • Sandra October 7, 2016 at 4:10 pm #

      Great job Clyde…even though most of us goans know the recipe, its a joy to try out your posts.

      Your recipes are authentic and very local ? and right out of our mum’s kitchen

      All the best.


    • Rati December 15, 2016 at 4:41 am #

      HI what is the quantity of chicken in the Cafreal recipe

    • Ann February 5, 2020 at 8:43 pm #

      Can you tell me please if I can use this masala for 1 kg chicken?

  8. Anonymous April 1, 2009 at 4:02 am #

    Thanks for the Amotik recipe. All your recipes are authentic and I will pass them on to my non-Goan friends who love goan food.


  9. Anonymous April 15, 2009 at 5:01 pm #

    hi, tried this recipe. came out great. thanks to both u and ur wonderful mom


  10. mattabar June 19, 2009 at 6:17 am #

    Great recipe reminds me of my goan days, I hope to make a version of this soon!

  11. Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    Sorry that should've been spelt "beijo"

  12. Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    Super recipe! I'm half goan and was never a big fan of cafreal. I just loved this recipe and so did my kids I've made it thrice in the last week alone. Please thank yr mum for such a wonderful recipe. I make rissoles too but with my avo's recipe its very similar to yours.Thank you again if you understand portuguese "Um grande beige"

  13. Yogz November 15, 2009 at 4:04 am #


    Please dont tell me you run Floentines…The recipe you gave has an authetic taste…

    Love you aunty.


  14. Anonymous December 14, 2009 at 4:59 am #

    Awesome! Tastes so authentic, took me way back to Goa! Cheers & Beers, Michelle

  15. Anonymous December 17, 2009 at 4:34 am #

    Hi Clyde!

    Thanks for the superb recipes πŸ™‚

    Can you tell us more about khus khus please? I see it's in a couple of your recipes, but I'm afraid I'm not familiar with it. Is it essential? Is there a substitute if I can't find it?

    – Neil

    • TJ January 14, 2020 at 5:55 pm #

      Khus khus is poppy seeds

  16. Clyde December 17, 2009 at 4:36 am #

    @ thanks for the kind words everyone πŸ™‚

    @ Niel

    Khus khus is also known as poppy seeds this should make it easy to find now πŸ™‚

  17. Anonymous December 17, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

    Is the masala of cafreal for 1kg chicken ?

  18. Clyde December 17, 2009 at 1:12 pm #

    @ Anonymous

    Should be around 1 Kg its a full chicken πŸ™‚

  19. Alanis December 18, 2009 at 5:10 pm #

    Hi there,

    I am a goan and your site was so informative that it reminded me of my mum's food. Keep up the good work. I was looking out for Doce receipe but could not find it. Looking forward for the receip to prepare it for christmas.

  20. Clyde December 18, 2009 at 5:14 pm #

    @ Alanis

    you seem to be rather lucky, we just put a channa doss recipe today πŸ™‚

  21. Anonymous January 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    Dear Aunty,
    This is the first time I have actually found this website and have tried some of the christmas recipes – absolutely delicious. tomorrow I will make the Sorpotel and Chicken Roast.

    Please can you also put the recipe of Vonn on your website. I love this Goan sweet. Thanks Angelina

  22. Godwin March 2, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    great recipes !!

  23. Anonymous March 6, 2010 at 5:02 am #

    Great recipe πŸ™‚

  24. Anonymous March 6, 2010 at 5:02 am #

    You forgot the most important ingredient – Juice of one or 2 lime. Rub the juice with salt into the chicken, this also tenderises the meat. Leave for an hour or so, then add the cafreal masala….leave it overnite preferably. Cook the next day….. Valentine

  25. Anonymous April 26, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    Hey can anybody share how the famous Ros omlet is really made? I mean I do know to make an omlet, but that ros, I just cant figure out how to get that "local gaada" taste, that I so love!

  26. Anonymous April 26, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    [email protected]

  27. tonia April 26, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    Thank you so much for this site. The photographs are very useful. Nice that you invite comments so others can complete and compliment the recipe if necessary.

  28. Eugenia April 26, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    Hats off to the Goan People and the Goan foods… its really amazing !!!!

  29. Savia May 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    Hi Clyde,

    I tried out the Chicken Cafreal Recepie, and it turned out to be finger licking good! Thanx a ton to you & ur mum for your wonderful recipes. Please include veg. recipes too… SAVIA

  30. Teena May 17, 2010 at 5:13 am #

    I tried the Chicken Cafreal Recepie yesterday it turned out very yummpy. My husband & 1 year old daughter she enjoyed the most. Thanks for the recipe

  31. Ralph Almeida June 8, 2010 at 4:59 am #

    Dear Clyde
    I was just surfing for an authentic Xacuti Masala and I did find one. Whilst just browsing through the Recipes my eyes saw the picture of your Mum and went further to read the same. Its' nice of you to have posted all your mum's goan recipes. I will definitely try them and get back to you. Incidentally, I am a fan of your Mum's pickles and Grandma's Bibique (ofcourse made by you Mum and I make it a point that she gives me her yummy tongue tickling pickles.

    Wishing you and your wife all the very best.

    Uncle Ralph (Versova).

  32. Anonymous June 8, 2010 at 4:59 am #

    Thank you once again, dinner last night was a hit ! πŸ™‚ We also had the chicken for breakfast this morning !! πŸ™‚ Big thankyou for this site and all your efforts!
    ~ Kanika

  33. Anonymous June 8, 2010 at 4:59 am #

    Trying out the cafreal chicken for dinner for our guests this evening ! I'm all excited waiting to cook the marinated chicken πŸ™‚ Can't wait to see how it turns out, given the great feedback on this site! Oh and ofcourse, Thanks for posting these recipes, we absolutely love Goa and Goan food !

  34. Ranjana June 25, 2010 at 6:38 am #

    This is the best and the most authentic caffreal recipe I have ever come across. It gives the most amazing and the best taste.Thanks for sharing it with us.

  35. Audrey August 18, 2010 at 7:54 am #

    Audrey said : Thanks for this recipe aunty.. My husband loved this sooo much that I have to make it often….

  36. Anonymous August 18, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    thanks for posting this receipe.. i prepared it and it became just perfect..

    will keep on following you..

  37. A Gomes August 18, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Hi I want to make Chicken Cafreal but here in the gulf we dont get khus khus as it is banned can we make the Chicken Cafreal without the khus khus please reply as I am dying to make this recipe

  38. Anonymous August 26, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    Love this recipe. My family too enjoys it. Thank you for such a lovely recipe

  39. Prachi October 30, 2010 at 4:59 am #

    This Recipe was a big hit at my home..Thank yu for sharing..Keep the Unique recipies coming πŸ™‚

  40. pani October 30, 2010 at 4:59 am #

    i liked this site very much particularly the snaps. i wil b trying d cafreal recipe today.can any one tell me how much is 8 stocks of coriander. is it 8 bunches or 8 stems.

  41. Clyde October 30, 2010 at 5:00 am #

    @ pani

    8 stocks is 8 stems πŸ™‚


  42. rose April 10, 2011 at 5:46 am #

    came across ur blog while surfing and must say loved it!! thanks fr posting authentic goan recipes.. m not goan and love its food, the place, the ppl.. eth abt goa!!
    trying out the chicken cafreal tonyt!! fingers crossed! πŸ™‚

  43. johan April 10, 2011 at 5:46 am #

    The best way to get to the meat of the matter is to go through a bowl. Easy and delicious.

  44. Anonymous July 27, 2011 at 7:01 am #

    Perfect authentice goan food!! Pls give me the receipe for Vonn, the goan dessert dish usually had at weddings. Thank you
    Pereira in Mumbai

  45. Anonymous August 3, 2011 at 6:32 am #

    Thanks a lot for your lovely chicken cafreal recipe and especially for spending your time and efforts on making it simple to understand.

  46. Clyde August 3, 2011 at 6:36 am #

    @ evveryone asking abt khus khus alternatives

    i have no clue about khus khus alternatives, you can definitely try making the dish without the khus khus im sure it will still taste yummy, if you do make it or find and alternative do let the others who can't get khus khus know what it is or how the dish tastes without the khus khus, thanks!

  47. sandra August 3, 2011 at 6:40 am #

    your receipe sounds interesting…especially after looking at the pics. want to try it. my only problem is Khus Khus. We do not get it in Dubai as it is considered as drugs.

    Is it ok if i exclude it..will it make a big difference. any replacement.

    pls advise.. thank you

  48. Anonymous September 12, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    100% yummy.too tasty ,very nice.i will impress my hubby and inlaws.i tried it and loved it.I am 100% sure my hubby will praise me.;-)

    from ,

  49. titch December 16, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    I regularly cook Chow Chow. Got to love it in Betalbatim Over the last 4 months. Where is a recipe for Sopotel?

    Colin Bourner Spain

  50. Clyde December 16, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    the recipe for sorpotel can be found at

  51. cathy December 16, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    do we have to add some pudina leaves to th ingredients to be ground for the cafreal masala…i thought i saw a few leaves in the picture…please let me know i want to try out this recipe soon

  52. Clyde December 16, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    @ cathy

    there is no pudina/mint in the cafreal, sometimes a few leaves show up in the bunch of coriander when purchased, thats about it

  53. amitha February 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    This is a great website. I am going to marry a Goan. So, I am learning to cook his favorite Goan dishes. This website is such a great help with its precise instructions.Thanks a lot.
    My chicken cafreal turned out great.

  54. Ewa Anita February 16, 2012 at 6:09 am #

    Hi, did you add some water while grinding the masala? Because mine looks quite dry… And how much chicken for this amount of masala? I'm planning to buy 400g chicken pieces, with bones…

  55. Clyde February 16, 2012 at 6:13 am #


    you can add a spot of water, not much, and you can try half the quantity for 400g chicken

  56. Anonymous February 16, 2012 at 6:27 am #

    Please let me know the quantity of chicken to be used for the cafreal recipe.
    thank you

  57. nickola June 5, 2012 at 5:30 am #

    Just stumbled upon this site….love the step by step instructions…will be trying the cafreal recipe today….A big thanks to you and your mum for your efforts… God Bless …

  58. Anonymous June 5, 2012 at 5:30 am #

    Hi Clyde,
    Your site is a treasure trove for a novice cook like me. I tried ur chicken cafreal and it turned out so good the first time itself thanks to ur detailed instructions.

  59. trumatter July 13, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    Hi Clyde, wondering if I could store the masala? What's its shelf life like?

    — Rukmini @Trumatter

  60. Clyde July 13, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    @ Rukmini

    no clue about the shelf life, although its quite an easy masala to make

  61. Anonymous September 27, 2012 at 7:39 am #

    Thank you so much – you and your mum for the clear instructions, photos and wonderful recipes. I've just tried a first recipe from this site:
    Goan Fish Curry which turned out great, my son who is half Australian loved it. I've never been to Goa but my mum's side is Goan and I fondly remember my grandma's delicious food. Love from Perth, Australia

  62. Vanita September 27, 2012 at 7:39 am #

    Hey Clyde, love this recipe, finally a chicken recipe I wouldnt mind making over and over again. My search for a mouth watering cafrael recipe finally ends.

  63. Deepti October 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Thanks for this prefect recipe it turned out to b like the one i used to have as a kid wid ma parents in this lil place in Saligao… Thanks a million πŸ™‚

  64. vanessa December 21, 2012 at 12:50 am #

    Thanks for the recipes i found it so easy and valuable .
    vanessa noel francis

  65. Anonymous March 6, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    Better late than never, Jeera is Cumin.

  66. Anonymous March 6, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    Thank u aunty, the christmas sweets recipe is very nice, and in very detailedly given….thanks u once again……… jenny

  67. Octavio Po March 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    Good morning. Thank you for this recipe: is very, very good.
    OctΓ‘vio PΓ³.

  68. Mario Fernandes April 2, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    superb website

  69. Bottle Masala April 23, 2013 at 5:51 am #

    Til (sesame seeds) could be used as a sort of substitute. Khus khus helps in thickening the curry / sauce, besides the flavour it imparts. Til/sesame would be the nearest substitute.

  70. cynthia moses April 23, 2013 at 5:51 am #

    Hi..can u gude me how Icould order online goan masals/pickles


  71. Bottle Masala May 1, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    I LOVE your recipes… Thanx! They are Awesome….
    I was looking for the Goan Sausage masala… Cld you please post that? I have been given a few recipes, but none of them taste the same as the sausages available in the Mapusa Friday market….
    Thanx once again….

  72. Anonymous July 14, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    I made this for the first time with 14 skinny green chillies (for double the amount of chicken), and opened the mixer and was taken aback at the spice of the mixture. With many misgivings, I marinated the chicken and went to bed with burning hands and endless worry about the fate of lunch the next day.

    Needless to say, I turned out absolutely fabulous, an explosion of incredible flavours πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    Thank you so much aunty for the recipe and the pictures!

    – MQ from Mumbai

  73. Anonymous August 21, 2013 at 3:10 am #

    I too am in the Gulf instead of khus khus you can use 8 to 10 kajus (not roasted ) but ground with the masala. Where can i get the receipe for Vonn and Pinag please. God Bless.

  74. Sharlotte August 21, 2013 at 3:11 am #

    1tablespoon khus khus? Please confirm.

  75. Anonymous October 13, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    HI, I tried this same recipie with Kingfish- It tastes awesome, changes i made was less spicy cut down on green chillies and added green bell peppers a little sugar and some extra tamrind. Its too good πŸ™‚

  76. Anonymous January 28, 2014 at 5:49 am #

    Thanks a lot for this recipe. It turned out great. I improvised a little bit by adding a little apple cider vinegar.


  77. Aditi Godbole January 28, 2014 at 5:51 am #

    When u say keep it overnight after marination, I presume it will have to be refrigerated? If kept outside, the chicken may get spoiled and get a foul smell? Pl confirm

  78. aaliya January 28, 2014 at 5:53 am #

    Hey Clyde what is kokum used for and how is it used? My friends are visiting goa so wanted them to get it for me and dry red chilling from there bcz they are so fierce red in colour .thanks a ton for ur lovely recipies.

  79. Sonya Valadares May 15, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

    The recipe is awesome, i just followed the recipe. First time I made it and it turned out like i was a Master Chef πŸ™‚ thankx to youll.. The Recipe simply rocks … Thankx for the website and all the yummy Goan dishes posted. I’m going to try other recipes too.

  80. Yolanda Monteiro May 15, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Hey Clyde looks like I found the answer… 1 Kg… Thanks

  81. Yolanda Monteiro May 15, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Hey Clyde can you please tell me what quantity of chicken this amount of masala would be sufficient for. Thanks. Plan to make it this sunday…. for Mother's Day!!!!

  82. Anonymous November 9, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    Khus Khus is poppy seeds – used in cooking in Goa but in some countries like the UAE is Banned Item to carry while travelling. They look like small off white-cream colour seeds.

  83. Alfred paul March 18, 2015 at 5:58 am #


  84. Jade Graham March 18, 2015 at 5:58 am #

    To date it still happens and its time for you to get a taste of this mouth watering cafreal chicken. food recipes

  85. ishmeet singh kapoor March 18, 2015 at 6:07 am #

    hi, can this masala be cooked with fish..

  86. Anonymous October 7, 2015 at 10:25 am #

    A wonderful site with clear instructions. Appreciate your efforts to share the recipes. Cheers to you and your family for all the love you spread through your culinary expertise.
    Sincerely, Michelle.

  87. manu george October 7, 2015 at 10:29 am #

    The masala dried up at the end of the cooking and it is not semi gravy like in the picture…what could have gone wrong?
    1)should i add extra masala while cooking?
    2) what is the amount of butter i should use for 500gm chicken?

  88. Sapna October 24, 2016 at 4:06 am #

    Was wanting to try this recipe.Can you how much chicken is needed to make chicken cafreal?

  89. Kristian March 7, 2017 at 5:57 pm #

    Where’s the mint …?

  90. Cherag March 26, 2017 at 7:57 am #

    Aunty the Cafreal turned out just brilliant. It’s exactly like my aunt used to make in old Goa and we enjoyed it every vacation we went to stay with them. Thanks a lot for it

  91. Tanya Godinho August 6, 2017 at 6:41 am #

    I normally use the ready made Karma masala to make the chicken cafreal.. but this time I decided to try out the recipe on your site and it turned out finger licking…

    Thank you for keeping up the good work and posting authentic Goan recipes.



  92. Jeannette October 17, 2017 at 9:47 pm #

    What is khus khus ?

  93. Cheryl October 19, 2017 at 8:27 am #

    Hi, this masala is for a kg of chicken or half a kilo. Couldn’t find the chicken quantity mentioned here. Do let me know, hoping to try it this weekend! Thanks in advance.

  94. Catherine February 24, 2019 at 12:38 pm #

    Can you give me 5 spice garam masala powder recipes

  95. Sue October 9, 2020 at 6:51 am #

    Hi, love this recipe, but I have to guess at the tamarind as I use the paste in the UK How much paste would you recommend?
    Thank you

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