Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana Recipe - Mozambique's Delicious Chicken Dish

Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana

Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana Recipe - Mozambique's Delicious Chicken Dish
Region / culture: Mozambique | Preparation time: 4 hours | Cooking time: 25 minutes | Servings: 4


Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana
Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana

Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana is a flavorful and aromatic dish that originates from the Zambezi region of Africa. This dish features marinated chicken that is broiled to perfection and served with a delicious coconut milk sauce.


Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana is a traditional dish that has been enjoyed in the Zambezi region for generations. The recipe is believed to have been influenced by the Portuguese settlers who brought their culinary techniques and ingredients to the region.


  • 1 cup of strained fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp of finely crumbled dried hot red chillies
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 2 x 2- to 2.5 lb (1.13 kg) chickens, each split into halves and the small protruding breastbones flattened with the side of a cleaver
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1.5 cups of fresh coconut milk made from 1.5 cups of coarsely chopped coconut and 1.5 cups of hot water

How to prepare

  1. In a large, shallow glass or enameled baking dish, combine the lemon juice, garlic, chilies, and salt.
  2. Add the chickens to the dish and spoon the lemon mixture evenly over them.
  3. Marinate the chickens at room temperature for about 2 hours or in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, basting and turning them over from time to time.
  4. Preheat the broiler to its highest setting.
  5. Pat the pieces of chicken dry with paper towels and arrange them on the rack of the broiling pan, skin side down.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine the oil with 0.5 cup of the coconut milk.
  7. Brush about 2 tbsp of the oil mixture evenly over the chickens.
  8. Broil the chickens 4 inches from the heat for 5 minutes.
  9. Baste the chickens with another 2 tbsp of the oil mixture and broil them for 8 to 10 minutes longer.
  10. Using tongs, turn the chickens over, baste them again, and broil for about 10 minutes, basting them once or twice.
  11. To test for doneness, pierce the thigh of a chicken with the point of a sharp knife.
  12. The juice that trickles out should be clear yellow. If it is still slightly pink, broil the chickens for another 2 or 3 minutes.
  13. Transfer the chickens to a heated serving platter and loosely drape them with foil to keep them warm.
  14. Pour the juices from the bottom of the broiling pan into a small skillet.
  15. Add any remaining basting liquid and the reserved cup of coconut milk to the skillet.
  16. Stir constantly and cook over low heat for 4 or 5 minutes, until the sauce is thoroughly heated.
  17. Do not let the coconut milk come to a boil or it may curdle.
  18. Taste the sauce for seasoning.
  19. Pour the sauce into a sauce boat and serve it separately with the chicken.


  • You can add more or less chili peppers to adjust the spiciness of the dish.
  • You can use boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken halves for a quicker cooking time.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to fully develop.

- Baste the chicken regularly while broiling to keep it moist and flavorful.

- Be careful not to overcook the chicken, as it can become dry.

- Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana can be served with rice, couscous, or a fresh salad.

Cooking Techniques

Broiling is the preferred cooking technique for this recipe, as it helps to caramelize the marinade and create a delicious charred flavor.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have coconut milk, you can use heavy cream or yogurt as a substitute.

Make Ahead Tips

You can marinate the chicken ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to broil it.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana on a platter garnished with fresh herbs and lemon wedges for a beautiful presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

This dish pairs well with a crisp white wine or a cold beer.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana contains approximately 350 calories.


Each serving of Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana contains approximately 5 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana contains approximately 20 grams of fats.


Each serving of Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana contains approximately 30 grams of proteins.

Vitamins and minerals

Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, and potassium.


This recipe contains coconut milk, which may be an allergen for some individuals.


Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana is a nutritious dish that is rich in proteins and fats. It is a flavorful and satisfying meal that can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.


Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana is a delicious and aromatic dish that is perfect for a special occasion or a family dinner. With its flavorful marinade and creamy coconut milk sauce, this dish is sure to impress your guests.

How did I get this recipe?

I can still recall the sense of amazement I felt when I first saw this recipe for Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana. It was many years ago, during a trip to Mozambique, that I was introduced to this delicious and flavorful dish. The combination of spices and herbs used in the marinade intrigued me, and I knew I had to learn how to make it myself.

I remember the warm, sunny day when I first tasted Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana. I was exploring the bustling markets of Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique, when I stumbled upon a small street vendor selling this mouthwatering dish. The aroma of the chicken marinating in a blend of garlic, ginger, coriander, and chili powder wafted through the air, drawing me in with its tantalizing scent.

As I took my first bite, I was immediately hooked. The chicken was tender and juicy, with a perfect balance of heat and spice. The flavors danced on my taste buds, and I knew I had to learn how to recreate this dish at home.

I approached the vendor and asked her for the recipe. She smiled warmly and told me that the recipe had been passed down through generations in her family, originating in the Zambezia province of Mozambique. She graciously agreed to share the recipe with me, and I eagerly took notes as she explained each step.

The key to the dish, she explained, was in the marinade. A blend of fresh garlic, ginger, coriander, chili powder, and lime juice was mixed together to create a flavorful paste. The chicken was then coated in the marinade and left to marinate for several hours, allowing the flavors to penetrate the meat and infuse it with a rich, aromatic taste.

I returned home with the recipe in hand, eager to recreate the flavors of Mozambique in my own kitchen. I gathered the ingredients and set to work, following the steps I had learned from the vendor in Maputo. As the chicken roasted in the oven, the scent of the spices filled my kitchen, transporting me back to that sunny day in Mozambique.

When the dish was finally ready, I could hardly contain my excitement. I plated the chicken alongside a simple salad and freshly baked bread, eager to taste the fruits of my labor. The first bite was pure bliss – the chicken was tender and flavorful, with a perfect balance of heat and spice.

I shared the dish with my family, who were equally impressed by the flavors of Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana. They marveled at how each bite seemed to transport them to the bustling markets of Maputo, where the dish had originated.

Since that day, Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana has become a staple in my family’s repertoire of recipes. I have passed it down to my children and grandchildren, just as the vendor in Mozambique had passed it down to me. Each time I make the dish, I am reminded of that sunny day in Maputo and the sense of amazement I felt when I first tasted it.

As I sit here, surrounded by the aromas of garlic, ginger, coriander, and chili powder, I am filled with gratitude for the experiences and memories that food has brought into my life. The recipe for Galinha Cafreal à Zambeziana will always hold a special place in my heart, a reminder of the beauty and connection that can be found in a simple meal shared with loved ones.


| Chicken Recipes | Coconut Milk Recipes | Coconut Recipes | Dried Chile Pepper Recipes | Garlic Recipes | Lemon Juice Recipes | Mozambican Meat Dishes | Mozambican Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients

(5) Fava
(4) Tulumba
(4) Cacik