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Chicken Cafreal Recipe

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chicken cafreal

Chicken cafreal with a separate sauce


No knives and forks allowed here. Chicken Cafreal is meant to be torn apart by hand. Dip naan or even French bread into the gravy. It’s spectacular.

It is normally served with rice though. That sauce with the chicken and rice are out of this world gorgeous!

I have made this chicken cafreal recipe many different ways. In the Summer I often cut the chicken into pieces and grill it on the BBQ.

I’ve fried it and roasted it in a tandoor which is my favourite way to cook it.

Make this recipe your own

This recipe is written for the home cook using a conventional oven and believe me – it tastes great!

Be sure to try the sauce and adjust the flavours. The chicken cafreal recipe you’ll find below is my favourite combo but feel free to adjust the spices as you see fit. 

It’s nice to know that something so easy can bring so much happiness. My family love this dish and I bet yours will too.

So without any further delay, I offer you one amazing and authentic chicken cafreal recipe!

Looking for more authentic chicken curry recipe ideas? Try these!

Yield: 4 - 6

Impress Your Family with this Chicken Cafreal Recipe!

Impress Your Family with this Chicken Cafreal Recipe!


  • 2 x 1.5kg ( 3 lbs) chickens
  • Juice of 3 Limes
  • 1 Large handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • 4 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 3 tabelspoons white cumin seeds
  • 1 4" piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 8 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 5 black cardamom
  • 10 cloves garlic smashed and chopped
  • 1 5" piece of ginger finely grated
  • 6 spicy green chilies (more or less to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon jaggery (Or light brown sugar)
  • 200g (2 cups) coriander stocks
  • 1/2 coconut grated
  • 3 Anchovies
  • 1 lime


  1. In a small frying pan, dry fry the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and cinnamon stick. Break the cinnamon stick into pieces before doing this.
  2. When the spices begin to smoke, take them off the heat.
  3. Add them to the rest of the dry marinade ingredients and grind together in a fine paste using a food processor or pestle and mortar.
  4. Rub the paste inside and out of the chickens.With your finger, carefully separate the skin from the meat and place some of the marinade between the skin and meat.
  5. Leave to marinade for six hours or overnight. The longer the better.
  6. To cook chicken cafreal
  7. Preheat your oven to 200c / 400f.
  8. Place the chicken in a oven proof dish and roast for 40 minutes or until the chickens are cooked through. The liquid should run clear when you stick a knife into the breast.
  9. Remove from the oven and place the chickens on a warm serving platter to rest for about 15 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, reduce the juices slightly over medium heat. You may need to add about a cup of water or chicken stock. i usually do.
  11. Just before serving, squeeze the lime juice into the gravy pour over the chickens.

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 I hope you enjoy this chicken cafreal recipe. If you do try it, please don’t be a stranger. Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. 




Sunday 8th of May 2016

Hello Dan, thank you for all the wonderful recipes. I love especially your curry recipes! I'd like to try the Chicken Cafreal next time. I just want to ask few questions - what is "coriander stock"? And the coconut - do you mean fresh coconut? Can creamed coconut block be used instead ? Thanks in advance ;). Zuzana

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 11th of May 2016

Hi Zuzana

Block coconut can definitely be used! You can use coriander leaves. The stocks are just the stock ends. :-)

Thanks Dan

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