Chicken Cafreal: The Story Of The Well-Known Goan Dish
Image Credit: Instagram Image by @thegoanpoie

Beyond the mesmerizing beaches, picturesque villages, touristy places, and royal casinos, there’s another captivating thing about Goa that enhances the beauty of this state. It is the local Goan food. A relaxing visit to Goa is incomplete without tasting scrumptious seafood like Goan fish curry-rice and a plethora of other dishes that are prepared in the most authentic styles using local masalas and spices. When it comes down to talking about Goan dishes, seafood is the first thing that pops in our minds but several other dishes are also a prominent part of Goan cuisine. Have you ever tasted or heard of Goan Chicken cafreal? Chicken cafreal is a Goan dish of spicy chicken that is traditionally prepared by braising the chicken in a special cafreal masala along with the infusion of spices, herbs, and pastes. In restaurants, shacks, and households of Goa, chicken cafreal is usually accompanied by potato wedges and lime wedges.

The rich history of Chicken Cafreal:

Chicken cafreal is among one of the Goan dishes with Portuguese connections and influences. This well-known Goan dish was introduced by the Portuguese as well as by the African soldiers who were serving under Portuguese when Goa was under Portuguese rule. It is believed that this dish originated from the Portuguese colonies in Africa, most likely in Mozambique. The dish derived its name from the word ‘Cafre’ which was the designation of the inhabitants of Cafraria. Chicken cafreal may be viewed as a dish similar to chicken piri-piri as it has adopted its cooking styles from Chicken piri piri. The interesting thing to know is that, unlike the fact that chicken piri-piri and chicken cafreal designate the same dish all over the world, they are considered to be two different dishes in Goa.

How to make chicken cafreal at home?

Chicken cafreal is traditionally prepared using whole chicken legs that are infused with spices such as cloves, red chili powder, ginger, and garlic along with herbs and local masalas which are lastly shallow fried and served. Click here to know the full recipe if you wish to try it at home.