This is a recipe that is dedicated to C. She is the one who got me Cafreal Masala from Goa, and then I made Chicken Cafreal for her and S, and then I wanted to make it again.

But alas! There was no Cafreal Masala.

That is when I took matters in my hand, and made the masala myself because after tasting it, I realized, I could make the masala at home and save me a lot of trips to Goa.

It was a simple thing – take 2 handfuls of chopped coriander leaves, 6 green chillies, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoon garam masala powder (in my house, garam masala is cinnamon, small cardamoms and cloves, and I am using that), 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste, 1/2 cup onion, chopped, and 6 tablespoon plain, white vinegar. You can of course use coconut vinegar. However, I am a humble girl with humble means, and I HAZ NO COCONUT.

Apply this paste on 1 kilo chicken. Leave it on for at least 4-5 hours, preferably overnight.

Heat 2-3 tablespoon oil in a pan and add the chicken, but not the marinade. The key is to brown the chicken slightly, so cook over high heat till the chicken is slightly colored. Many people do not like browning, and prefer their meat juicy, soft and green. I am not one of them. I like my meat slightly colorful.

So, after browning the meat slightly, lower temperature, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove cover, turn up the heat to reduce the moisture from the meat, and then add the rest of the marinade that was sitting pretty while the chicken was cooking. Once the meat is done (will take another 5-15 minutes, depending on the meat pieces, mine took somewhere around 10 minutes after that), adjust salt, remove from heat, and serve with steamed rice.

I like this with big green chillies and chopped cucumbers and onions.

This is hopefully my last post in 2013. I will be back in 2014. Hope you guys have a great year ahead! Happy New Year.

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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