If you haven't tried chicken cafrael, a spicy Goan chicken recipe marinated in a vibrant ginger, coriander and garlic paste then you need to! It's amazing grilled or barbecued and the perfect addition to an Indian banquet.
Have you heard of chicken cafrael? I hadn't until recently. It's a Goan dish of chicken, marinated in a vinegary green masala, which is then grilled, fried or baked. I love the taste of vinegar in Indian recipes and already make a red Goan chicken dish which has a vinegary spice paste, but now I've added chicken cafrael to my repertoire!
The inspiration for this chicken cafrael recipe
The recipe is from Floyd's India which is a book I've had for a long time. Despite my love of Indian food, I'm ashamed to say that I had never actually used this book before. It was one of the poor forgotten recipe books that I got before a lot of my other books.
I know that when I first got it, I read it from cover to cover, drooling over the tempting Indian recipes but for some reason did not actually make anything. It was before I began cooking a lot of Indian food at home and maybe I was little intimidated by all the spices, and also by the fact that I didn't have a food processor.
Now, when I look through the ingredients for the recipes I have almost everything and can't understand why this book has been so neglected. It will certainly be used again after this recipe anyway.
What ingredients do you need?
Here's what you need to make this tasty Goan chicken recipe:
- Chicken - I usually just cook diced pieces of chicken in a frying pan or griddle pan. However, you can cook it on skewers so it's like a kebab. You can also butterfly the chicken breasts rather than chopping them up.
- Ginger - Use fresh root ginger or a ginger paste. I prefer to use fresh if I have it as I think it adds more flavour.
- Coriander leaves (cilantro)
- Garlic cloves - like with the ginger, you can use a garlic paste instead of fresh garlic.
- Green chillies - Use more or less depending on how hot they are and on how hot you want the chicken to be.
- Ground coriander - You can use whole spices and grind them yourself or ready ground.
- Cloves or ground cloves - ground cloves are easier as you don't need to pound them first in a pestle and mortar.
- Black peppercorns or ground black pepper
- Vinegar - I use white wine vinegar.
What is this Chicken Cafrael like?
The chicken was delicious. It was very tender as a result of the marinade and full of flavour. Hot from the chillies and fresh tasting from all the coriander too.
What can you serve with Chicken Cafrael?
You can serve this Goan chicken recipe with any kind of rice or Indian flat bread. I served it with this spinach raita, which is my current favourite raita. It would also go well with this tomato, cucumber and onion raita.
If you want to have a go at some homemade bread to go with it then try these nigella seed flatbreads!
What can you do with the leftovers?
You can store the leftover chicken cafrael in the fridge for up to three days. It's great in a wrap with salad for a packed lunch. Or make some of it into a chicken salad.
More Recipes you might like
If you love Indian chicken recipes then do check out my chicken tikka recipe! It's also really easy to make.
You'll also love my curry recipe collection and my easy spicy midweek meals recipe collection.
- 300 g chicken diced into 2cm cubes or just sliced horizontally
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 green chillies
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3 cloves or ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns or ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoon vinegar
- Grind any whole spices in a pestle and mortar. Then put all the ingredients except the chicken in a food processor. If the mixture is too dry add a little more vinegar.
- Rub the mixture into the chicken and leave in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour. If you use larger pieces of chicken, make a few slashes in them with a knife before rubbing the marinade in.
- Fry the chicken pieces in a little oil until cooked inside and browned on the outside. You could also roast it in the oven or barbecue it.
Couscous & Consciousness
Chicken Cafrael is not a dish I had ever heard of before, but I can't wait to try it now - sounds amazing. I remember watching the Floyd's India series on TV and thinking it was wonderful - I must put that book on my list.
I've definitely not heard of it but it sounds delicious!
Viviane Bauquet Farre
Looks great Corina! And so healthy too. I quite love your selection of spices in this recipe.
Toby @ Plate Fodder
Spot on! love that mix of spice and the incredibly herbaceous chicken!
I know, it's lovely to see a really green herby marinade.
Love Curry, Floyd and this recipe, I've got the same book and as you say the array of spices are overwhelming, this one seems to have fewer chillies in than usual for Floyd. Looks great though
I don't think the chillies were very strong in this, but you could easily add few extra. I'll definitely be using this book again now.
The spices on the chicken sound great mixed with a little vinegar. Tasty and juicy I'm sure.
Phil in the Kitchen
Looks delicious - you're making me hungry. I know what you mean about poor forgotten books. I think I've got a couple of poor forgotten Floyd books and that's just not right. I'll rescue them.
home made curry's are the best are they not? Can you believe that until I started my blog a couple of years ago I had also never made a curry!... or anything even remotely Indian, yet I , like you, love a good Indian meal.. I learnt that it was as simple as just having the spices at home and once I purchased them for the initial dish I never looked back and must make a curry at least once a month!... your chicken looks so good ... brilliant stuff!
This sounds lovely!
Isn't it funny how some recipe books sit there gathering dust...despite having fabulous dishes. I have a feeling it's partly down to food photography, which is quite 'trend' based. This one does look good and not too complicated (which means good for ME!!!)
How lovely, Corina! Sounds really tasty. I bet these would be fantastic barbecued.
I bet they would. It's such a shame it's not often barbecue weather here!