Sirka Masala (Goan Style) (Serves 4-6)

This is a really simple, fragrant marinated chicken recipe based on the Portuguese dish Galinha Cafreal, a kind of Goan version of Chicken Peri-Peri…chillies and vinegar combined with sweet, highly perfumed Southern Indian spices, an absolute winner! Brought to India’s shores from the African continent, ‘Galinha Cafreal’ translates from Portuguese simply as ‘grilled chicken’. Our version combines sweet, sour, salty flavours with warming, sweet heat…Once you’ve marinated the chicken you can grill, fry, roast or barbeque depending on your mood (and the weather)!

What you need



1kg/2lbs, thigh meat, chopped into good sized, chunky mouth-sized pieces OR left as ‘chunks’ (breast meat is fine, but I prefer the taste and texture of thigh meat…give it a try!)


Sunflower oil,                          2 good tbsp

Cider vinegar,                          1tbsp

Lime,                                           1, juice and zest

Onion,                                         ½ a medium one

Ginger, fresh root                  30g or 1 fat inch, grated

Garlic                                           4 fat cloves

Coriander,                                 fresh, a good handful of, roughly chopped

1 packet of GREEN SAFFRON Sirka Masala Spice Mix

How to make it

This is a really easy one…..

  1. Pop all of the Marinade ingredients and your GREEN SAFFRON Sirka Masala Spice Mix (except the chicken!) into a food processor and blitz to a smooth, runny paste.
  2. Place the chicken into a sturdy, snug-fitting roasting tray, pour in your marinade, scraping every last bit from the processor’s ‘jug’, then mix everything around to combine all the flavours and to coat the meat.

*You can use a spatula or wooden spoon or get stuck in and use your hands! Whichever is your preference, just make sure all ingredients are well combined. (Then wash your hands..!!!)

3. Cover with foil and set aside for 20 minutes.

4. Turn your oven on to medium / low heat. About 180°C, Gas Mark 4 is fine.

5. Pop the roasting tray, still covered with foil onto the middle shelf of your oven and shut the door!

6. Allow to cook for 15minutes, then take off the foil cover and roast for a further 5 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked, but still juicy and tender.

7. Serve immediately with green leaves and Indian bread or a crunchy onion, tomato, shredded cabbage, chilli salad and Green Saffron’s Aged Basmati rice, spooning the roasted marinade juices all over for extra (special) flavour …simply beautiful!!

Alternative suggestions:

Try pushing the marinated pieces of chicken onto a skewer for a brochette effect and serve with a good, garlicky aioli and crusty sour-dough, freshly baked bread….You could use pieces of 1kg lamb, leg of lamb, instead of the chicken for a more meaty feast! Or for a more saucy dish, multiply all the marinade ingredients by 4 (except the oil, multiply that by 2) and continue with everything else as normal!

Why not try

This recipe has been tried and tested by the Green Saffron Masaalchi and is pretty much guaranteed – but if you want to change the quantities of a couple of ingredients, or add others, go for it! Experiment and enjoy your cooking. With Green Saffron spices you can’t go wrong!!!