How to cook… Chicken Cafrael

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Chicken Cafrael, a simple dish to make – marinate the chicken in a green spice paste, then fry – is another classic curry from Goa. Originating in Africa (probably Mozambique) it was brought to India by the Portuguese. Although this is a dish that traditionally uses chicken legs you can also use bite-sized chunks of chicken.

What you need
• 800g chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 6 Tablespoons oil

Marinade
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 15 pepper corns
• 3 cloves
• 6cm stick of cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon turmeric
• 0.5 teaspoon salt
• 4 green chillies, roughly chopped
• small handful of fresh coriander (make sure you include plenty of the stalks), roughly chopped
• 8 mint leaves (or 1 teaspoon mint sauce)
• 1 Tablespoon tamarind paste
• 1 Tablespoon vinegar
• Water as needed

How you make it
1. Squeeze the lemon over the chicken, rub it in well and leave for 15 minutes. This will degrease the chicken and also helps the chicken absorb the marinade.
2. Blend all the Marinade ingredients to a thick paste, using a bit of water if needed.
3. Shake the excess lemon juice off the chicken pieces and coat them in the Marinade, maing sure all the pieces are well coated. Leave for at least 30 minutes but preferably for 6 hours.
4. Heat the oil to a medium in a pan, add the chicken pieces and fry until all the pieces are cooked through (about 10 minutes).
5. Remove with a slotted spoon so the excess oil is removed and serve.

CHEF’S TIP
The chicken can also be deep-fried.

If you like this you should try our
Medium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken Feet Curry (Africa)

Check out 5 Best Goan Curries

What do you call a chicken crossing the road?… Poultry in motion.

How to cook… Ambot Tik

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Ambot Tik is another hot and spicy dish from Goa that combines Portuguese and Indian flavours. It can be cooked with any any type of fish but popular choices are shark and prawns. If using the prawns keep their shells on to soak up the range of flavours. To cook this curry, first create the aromatic masala by dry frying spices, combine with a sauce of onions, tomatoes and tamarind and add the prawns.

What you need
• 600g prawns, deveined but with shells left on
• 3 Tablespoons oil
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 1.5 onions, finely chopped
• 2 tomatoes, chopped
• 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
• 3 Tablespoons tamarind paste
• 10 curry leaves
• Salt to taste
• Coriander leaves to garnish

Masala
• 10 dried red chillies
• 2 cloves
• 15 black peppercorns
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 4 Tablespoons desiccated coconut
• 0.5 teaspoon salt

How you make it
1. Dry fry all the Masala ingredients in a pan over a medium heat until they release their aromas (about 2 minutes). Grind into a powder and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a pan to a medium heat, add the garlic paste and ginger paste and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add the onion and cook until it softens (about 5 minutes).
4. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and tamarind, mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
5. Add a little water and use a hand blender to the mix the ingredients to a paste.
6. Add the Masala, mix well and cook for 10 minutes.
7. Add the prawns, curry leaves and salt if needed, allowing the prawns to absorb all the flavours and cook until the they are fully cooked (about 7–8 minutes).
8. Garnish with the coriander leaves serve.

CHEF’S TIP
If you don’t have a hand blender for Step 5 then transfer the ingredients to a standard blender to create the paste then return the paste to the pan.

If you like this you should try our
Chicken RecheadeMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken Vindaloo Restaurant-style)Chicken BhoonaChicken Feet Curry (Africa)

Check out 5 Best Goa Curries

You know this is a delicious dish because it Tiks all the boxes…

How to cook… Roasted Peppers Stuffed with Chilli and Garlic Mushrooms

Recipes

Serves 4 as a starter or snack

Stuffed Peppers is popular dish all over India, particularly in Goa. Mushrooms are excellent when curried and go excellently with chillies and garlic. You’ll need to chop them up for stuffing but bear in mind that they shrink considerably when cooked as you don’t want them too small. There is a little bit of work hollowing out the peppers but they work well – and look great – when cut lengthways.

What you need…
• 4 peppers, preferably different colours
• 4 Tablespoon oil
• Large dob of butter
• 400g mushrooms, chopped
• 5 cloves of garlic, sliced
• 5 chillies, chopped
• salt to taste

Spice Mix
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 0.5 chilli powder
• 0.5 turmeric powder

How to make it
1. Heat an over to 200 C.
2. While it is heating up slice the side off the peppers to create an “open boat” of each, but leaving the stalks on for appearance. Cut out the pith and seeds, being careful not to cut through the pepper.
3. Brush half the the oil onto the peppers, inside and out, place on a roasting tray in the centre of the oven and cook for 25 minutes.
4. While the peppers are roasting heat the butter in a pan and fry the mushrooms for 3 minutes. Set aside.
5. Heat the rest of the oil with what’s left of the butter to a medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
6. Add the chillies and add for 1 minute.
7. Add the Spice Mix with a tiny splash of water and cook for 2 minutes.
8. Add the mushrooms, mix well and warm through until the mushrooms are cooked through (about 3–4 minutes).
9. Remove the peppers and stuff them with the filling. Return them to the oven for 5 minutes.

CHEF’S TIP
When buying the peppers select evenly shaped ones that will sit steadily sideways.

Roasted Peppers, cut lengthways and leave the stalk on.

If you like this you should try our
Sag PaneerChilli PaneerButter ChickenButter PaneerPrawn KormaMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken Dopiaza

Why couldn’t the teddy bear eay this dish? … Because it’s already stuffed.

Curry Guide… Goan Cuisine

Curry Guide

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The food in Goa is quite distinctive from the rest of the India, despite it being one of the smallest states in the country and home to fewer than 1.5 million people. Its location along the western coast of the country, by the Arabian Sea, means seafood features prominently in its cuisine and because its population is largely Christian (Catholic), thanks to just over 450 years of Portuguese occupation, beef and pork are also common, unlike in the rest of India. Chillies are also important in Goan cuisine having been introduced to to the country by the Portuguese in 1498. Curries without chillies, who’d have thought? The Indians used peppers for heat before that.

The most famous Goan dish is Vindaloo, which is a favourite of all heat lovers. Vin means vinegar, thanks to the southern Europeans and the aloo bit is for the amount of garlic in it (the aloo bit is commonly confused as meaning potato because “aloo” means “potato” in Hindi and chunks of the good old spud is in the dish. The traditional dish, cooked with loads of vinegar and pork, is nothing like the curry house dish you’ll get in Britain, although it does share the heat levels.

Other well-known Goan dishes are Xacuti, a dish of chicken or prawns with chilli, white poppy seeds and coconut, and Cafrael, a Portuguese-Indian combination dish which uses a lot of coriander and lime juice and has its roots in Africa.

Photo: Zerohund Wikipedia.

Pretty in pink

3. Reviews (International)

Pink Chillies, Goa, India

Pink Chilli is a classy new restaurant situated inside the grounds of Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, a few minutes inland from the popular beach resorts and opposite the site of the Anjuna Saturday night market.

It’s been set up by the team that runs the Karma Café on Baga Beach, so you’ll find the same chilled atmosphere and super friendly welcome, just without the sand. It is one of the few places in Goa that is able to attract everyone – locals, holidaying Indians, Brits and Russians.

The Tandoori Lamb (Rps 400 a head) has to be ordered 48 hours in advance so it can be marinated. And, wow, how it is marinated. A thick tasty coating certainly penetrates the meat deeply after so many hours. Lamb (or sometimes mutton on menus) in Goa usually means goat, although the lamb here is imported from Maharashtra and once went ‘baa’ not ‘nanny’. Most of us curry lovers have seen this ‘order in advance’ dish on menus (it’s sometimes called Lamb Raan, which refers to the actual cut of lamb used) but few of us get round to ordering it. It’s worth it. Never have I seen a group of diners anticipating a meal such as this. From the cooking in the tandoor (cameras at the ready everyone) to the carving of the meat onto the trays, this really was an eating event.

To keep the anticipation to bearable levels, starters such as Chicken Chilli Fry (Rps 120), Prawn Chill Fry (Rps 140) and Masala Papads (popadoms loaded up with chopped onion, tomato, and chillies) provided a good selection to share around.

photo   photo

The couple who own this open-air restaurant – he from near Delhi, she from Liverpool – have created a beautifully styled venue. Pink is used on the walls, the place settings, the napkins and the menus (handmade with crushed paper), although the dark wood of the tables means the colour is not overpowering. Classic Indian posters have been framed and cover the walls, and the smart wooden carved chairs go well with the tables that have been converted from old Singer sewing machine frames. Coming soon, I’m told, will be a Tuk Tuk at the top of the stairs, where people can chill and enjoy a drink (and sure to be a hit among children and photographers). It will, of course, be painted in the restaurant’s trademark bright pink. Beep beep.

* At the time of the visit £1 = Rs 85, $1 = Rs 54.

Pink Chilli, Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, Arpora 403518, Goa, India. Open: daily.

Pink Chilli snapshot

Food 8⃣

Decor 🔟

Value8⃣

Atmosphere 9⃣

Service and friendliness 8⃣

The world’s best curry

3. Reviews (International)

McCain’s, Goa, India

This is it. This is the best curry I have ever tastest.

From left: Chicken Kolhapuri, Mushroom rice, Vegetable Kolhapuri, nan

From left: Chicken Kolhapuri, Mushroom rice, Vegetable Kolhapuri, roti, washed down with a Kingfisher beer

The narrow-fronted McCain’s can be found wedged between bars and shops in the busy Tito’s Lane in Baga, north Goa. It’s so unassuming it would be easy to miss (one person who’s been visiting the area for years and was staying within metres of McCain’s had never heard of it). It’s a simple fast-food style joint with benches and stools along both walls, while at the back, behind a glass screen, hang skewers of bright red, marinated tandoori, while other staff beaver away over the tawas. It’s always packed.

Service is superb and no matter how full it seems to be a bit of space and seats appear magically as soon as the staff see you enter. Why a swankier restaurant has not snapped up the staff, some of whom have been here a fair while, is a mystery.

Kolhapuri is a dish that comes from the city of Kolhapur to the north of Goa in Maharashtra, so it’s not a local dish, but it’s certainly a favourite in this tiny Indian state. Most recipes include coconut and there is often a giant chilli glistening away in the sauce. It’s a rich, hot and vibrantly coloured dish that is hard to stop eating, even when your stomach has had enough.

The Chicken Kolhapuri (Rs 120) certainly can’t be faulted, with the perfectly cooked chunks of off-the-bone meat, but this is really best as a vegetable dish. People of a certain age would text their friends ‘OMG’ at the first mouthful. As hot as a Vindaloo, as moreish as Tikka Masala, and as fresh as a Balti, the Vegetable Kolhapuri (Rs 100)  is a dish that has it all. Packed with potato, cauliflower, carrots, beans and paneer, I was soon piling up huge spoonfuls of the tasty, onion and tomato gravy onto the Mushroom rice (Rs 100) and tucking in. If you’re a mopper-upper type of eater then rotis come in at Rs 10. Either way, you will eat it and want more.

* At the time of the visit £1 = Rs 85, $1 = Rs 54.

McCain’s Fast Food, Tito’s Lane, Baga, Goa 403 516, India. Tel: +91 9823 196848. Open: till 7am in season.

McCain’s snapshot

Food 🔟

Decor 3⃣

Value 🔟

Atmosphere (late weekday) 7⃣

Service and friendliness 9⃣

Spice on the beach

3. Reviews (International)

Karma Café, Goa, India

Although it’s not a Goan dish, Chicken Kolhapuri is found in many of the restaurants in the region. One of the best places to enjoy this spicy dish is in the super chilled beach bar, Karma Café.

Karma is run by the energetic owner Baba who’ll be seen doing everything from ferrying fresh fish from the market, serving beers, cooking food and fixing the pool table between spells of popping down to the beach to chat to his wife and little boy.

Kolhapuri is named after the town Kolhapur, which is to the north of Goa in Maharashtra. It’s about as hot as Goa’s most famous dish, vindaloo, but dare I say it, has more flavour, somehow combining burn-in-the-mouth fire with great taste at the same time. It’s addictive and should, of course, be washed down with a cold Kingfisher. Or three.

Watching it being cooked in the small kitchen out back is mesmerizing. Cooked in a pan heated to the limit over an open flame, the chef tosses in ingredients – onions, garlic, ginger, spices and chicken in turn, with the wild sizzle from the pan only being doused briefly when he adds a spoon of sauce from giant pot of masala sauce on the side. At the same time the chef uses a pot of steaming oil to cook popadoms fresh in seconds, the flat disk recoiling into its familiar post-cooked shape of curls and twists almost instantly.

Of course, it tasted better because I had watched it being cooked, but back at the table of this open-air restaurant, with my feet wiggled firmly into the sand floor and watching the moon bounce off the Arabian sea out front, it would be impossible not to get a kick from this dish.

Karma Café, Baga Beach, Goa, India. Open: about 10am–midnight (sometimes later) in season (October to April).

Karma Café snapshot

Food ① ② ③ ④

Decor ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Value ① ② ③ ④

Atmosphere (Thursday night) ① ② ③ ④

Service and friendliness ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Nothing like the real thing baby…

3. Reviews (International)

Jamies, Goa, India

Jamies is an oasis in the madness of Baga Road. When you’ve had enough of endless tooting horns (nobody seems to realise they are meaningless when used so often), hawkers, and dirt and grime of this vibrant road, pop into Jamies, without doubt one of the best restaurants in the area.

A beautiful restaurant, nicely designed and well laid so every table has plenty of space to breathe (you need it occasionally in India), this is relaxed outdoor eating at its best.

The restaurant specialises in barbeque and tandoor cooking so not everything is ‘Indian’ but the tasty Tarkari Jalfriezi (Rs 195) was hot and spicy and if anyone can find a more tender, tasty Murgh Tikka (Rs 195) than this place does then I want to know about it. Mop it all up with freshly cooked rotis (Rs 25 each) and Kingfishers.

* At the time of the visit £1 = Rs 70, $1 = Rs 45.

Jamies, 7/188 Sauntavaddo, Baga Main Road, Goa, India. Tel: 00 91 976 4362 379/976 4364 377.

Jamies snapshot

Food ① ② ③ ④

Decor ① ② ③ ④

Value ① ② ③ ④

Atmosphere (Tuesday night) ① ② ③

Service and friendliness ① ② ③ ④