Chicken Cafreal Kebab - Twist To An Old Classic

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Aug. 18, 2020

Meat on a stick!!!!! Whats not to love!!! Chicken Cafreal is an old favorite! Beloved to Goa on the Konkan coast of India is the iconic Chicken Cafreal. Not much has been documented about this recipe made with whole roasted and ground spices like Peppercorns, Cloves, Cumin seeds, Cinnamon and Poppy seeds, Vinegar, Green Chillies, Ginger Garlic, Coriander, Turmeric, Tamarind pulp Salt. This is rumored to have been brought over to Goa by the Portuguese from a colony they occupied in Africa. Its also known to have been either called Galinha or derived from a recipe similar to Galinha which simply means fowl or Chicken. Typically the Chicken is shallow fried like this and I also made a version that I cooked on the BBQ.


For cafreal masala:
Tamarind 1 Teaspoon
Water 3/4 Cup (12 tbs) , divided ((1/2 cup for soaking tamarind and 1/4 cup for chicken))
Peppercorns 1 Teaspoon
Cumin seeds 1 Teaspoon
Cloves 1 Teaspoon
Cinnamon stick 2 Inch
White poppy seeds 2 Teaspoon
Coconut vinegar 1/4 Cup (4 tbs)
Green chillies 1/4 Cup (4 tbs)
Sliced ginger 1/4 Cup (4 tbs)
Garlic 1/4 Cup (4 tbs)
Coriander 4 Cup (64 tbs)
Turmeric 1 Teaspoon
Salt 1 Teaspoon



1. Soak the tamarind in water preferably hot for about 30 mins then cool and squeeze to release the pulp.

2. Lightly roast the peppercorns, cumin, cloves, cinnamon and poppy seeds and cool.


3. In a food processor or spice grinder, grind these to a powder.

4. Using a bigger food processor jar, add the vinegar, green chillies, ginger and garlic followed by half the coriander and water and Grind to a paste.

5. Add the second half of the coriander and the ground whole spices and grind till smooth.

6. In a large food processor jar add the chicken breast cut in cubes.

7. Add all the Cafreal masala, salt to taste and the diced onions and process till the chicken forms a thick paste that easily holds together – don’t over puree.

8. Using oiled hands form the kebabs in a flat sausage like shape around the stick and shallow fry.

9. For reheating, do not use the microwave, it can cause the stick to come loose.


10. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: Easy
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Ready In: 25 Minutes
Servings: 8