Meat on a stick!!!!! What’s 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. It’s 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.

In this recipe I’m giving it a modern twist by grinding up the Chicken together with the Cafreal paste and cooking this on a stick like a kebab. It’s a great idea to serve as an appetizer.

Chicken Cafreal Kebabs


Cafreal Masala

  • 1 tsp Tamarind in 1/2 cup of Water
  • 1 tsp Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Cloves
  • 2 inch stick Cinnamon
  • 2 tsps of white Poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup green Chillies
  • 1/4 cup sliced Ginger
  • 1/4 cup of Garlic
  • 4 cups of Coriander
  • 1/4 Water
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp of Salt


  • 4 lbs Chicken breast
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup diced Onions


  • Soak the tamarind in water preferably hot for about 30 mins then cool and squeeze to release the pulp
  • Lightly roast the peppercorns, cumin, cloves, cinnamon and poppy seeds and cool
  • In a food processor or spice grinder, grind these to a powder
  • Using a bigger food processor jar, add the vinegar, green chillies, ginger and garlic followed by half the coriander and water
  • Grind to a paste
  • Add the second half of the coriander and the ground whole spices and grind till smooth
  • In a large food processor jar add the chicken breast cut in cubes
  • 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
  • Using oiled hands form the kebabs in a flat sausage like shape around the stick and shallow fry
  • For reheating, do not use the microwave, it can cause the stick to come loose