My earliest fond memories of Cafreal was mum making Chicken Cafreal. This was specially so when we travelled to Goa by bus and mum would marinate and fry chicken pieces and potato wedges so we would have food ready. (In case the bus didnt halt etc). This was also her favourite go to marinade for mutton. So when we decided at work to have a potluck lunch, I mentioned that I would get Cafreal Mutton and the immediate response was oh this dish sounds like an African name.
Without realising I mentioned that this was a Portuguese recipe. (Goans did exist even in Africa).
Now without much ado let’s jump to the recipe:
- Mutton chops 800 gms
- Salt (as per taste)
- Vinegar 2tbs.
- Tumeric powder 1 tsp.
- Oil (as required for frying the chops)
- Water (as required)
- Potatoes 2-3 large
- Tomato 1 large
Ingredients for marinade:
- Green chillies 6-7 (Remove the seeds and reduce the number as per taste)
- 1/2 a bunch of fresh coriander leaves
- Ginger 1″ (I use Indian variety, add 1/2″ more if using Chinese variety)
- Garlic 3-4 cloves (I use Indian variety, if using Chinese variety add 2 more as per taste)
- Coriander seeds 2 tbs.
- Cumin seeds 1 tsp
- Cloves 7-9
- Peppercorns 1 tsp
- Cinammon 1″ thick piece
- Water (as required )
- Tamarind 1 lemon size ball soaked in water
Method : Wash the chops and dry with a clean kitchen towel. Now keep the chops between two cling films. Hammer gently all the chops and dip the chops in vinegar, tumeric and salt mixture. Keep aside for 3-6 hours in the fridge.
Now grind all the ingredients for the marinade from 1-10 in a mixer. Add water a little at a time to facilitate grinding the spices. Repeat this process for 2-3 times. Now add the soaked tamarind to the mixer and grind again. Remove the ground masala and add a portion of it to the chops. Reserve the balance marinade along with a litte water with which the mixer has been washed in a bowl. Keep both the marinade bowl and the marinated chops in the fridge overnight.
Now remove the chops from the fridge next morning. Let it come to room temperature. In the meanwhile clean the potatoes and chop into wedges. Add the potato wedges into a bowl with salted water and keep aside for 15-20 minutes.
Now in a non-stick vessel add oil and let it become hot. Remove the potatoes wipe dry and put into the pan. Let it fry till all the sides are golden. Remove and keep aside. Now add more oil and let it become hot. When the oil is hot enough add the chops and fry. After the chops brown, turn to the other side and fry till it becomes brown on the other side too. Now add the masala along with 1/4 cup water. Cover and let it cook for 20-25 minutes. Turn to other side and repeat the process. Add the reserved marinade as required and cover and cook for another 20-25 minutes. The chops are well done. You know the chops are cooked, when you can easily pass a sharp knife or fork through it.
To serve add the potato wedges and a flower shaped tomato with the chops in the middle. Enjoy with chapattis/paratha or a naan.
Notes: 1. This marinade is very flavourful and can be ground ahead of time and stored. 2. I have added less than 1/4 cup water to grind the spices. The masala shouldn’t be watery. 3. Adding vinegar to the chops breaks down and tenderizes the mutton. 4. You can alternatively also cut onions into rounds and fry them till the caramelized and add to the mutton chops.
Note: Photo edited on 25/01/2018