1 onion, large
2 lbs chicken pieces
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
6 green cardamom pods
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
2 inch piece cinnamon stick
1 Tbs white poppy seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
1 inch piece ginger, sliced
8-10 cloves garlic
4 green chiles, stems removed
2 limes, juiced
2 Tbs oil
2 tsp salt
additional oil for grilling
2 limes, quartered, for garnish
This recipe is based on a Goan recipe that I have adapted for grilling. This dish originated in a Portuguese colony in Africa and was brought to Goa where it became very popular. Grilled Chicken Cafreal is quite easy to make. First the dried spices are roasted and ground to enhance their wonderful flavors. Next a marinade, made with fresh cilantro, lime juice, ginger and garlic, is applied to chicken. After an hour or two it is simply grilled. Goan cuisine is based on the presence of three flavors; this recipe features two of them: hot (from the chiles) and sour (from the limes). If ‘spicy heat’ is not a flavor you enjoy, feel free to reduce the number of chiles all the way to one so the heat is eliminated but the flavor remains. The first time I made this recipe for my daughter, she loved it. In fact, it has now replaced Chicken Tikka as her favorite. Maybe I should rename it Kathryn's Grilled Chicken Cafreal.
1. Boil the potatoes. Peel and lightly mash them.
2. Dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, green cardamoms, black peppercorns, poppy seeds and cinnamon in a hot pan just until you can smell the aroma of the spices.
3. In a spice grinder, powder the roasted spices to a fine powder.
4. In a food processor or blender, grind the ground roasted spices, turmeric, salt, cilantro leaves, ginger, garlic, green chiles, oil and lime juice into a paste.
5. Cut 2 or 3 slits into each chicken piece.
6. Place the chicken in a bowl or sealable bag. Add the masala paste. Mix to coat each piece of chicken evenly. Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour for boneless or 2 to 3 or hours for chicken with bones and skin.
7. Bring the chicken back to room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking.
8. Heat the grill to medium. Lightly oil the grate. Place chicken on the grill. Let the chicken cook until char marks form, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and continue cooking until it is done. Transfer the chicken to a plate, squeeze the lime pieces over it then let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Since this Grilled Chicken Cafreal is a dry dish (has no curry or sauce) it is delicious with a green salad and summer vegetables like grilled corn on the cob. This chicken is great the next day sliced and served cold over a bed of lettuce.