Coconut Chicken Biryani

“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” -Harriet van Horne

We love hearty, one-pot meal options here at Scratch is Better.  This biryani is an over-the-top coconut infused one-pot wonder. The rice cooks away in a rich silky broth and is topped at the end with toasted coconut and chopped almonds for added texture!

Adapted from

Serves 4-6

1 ½ cups basmati rice, washed and drained
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp ginger, finely minced
1 tbsp garlic, finely minced
3 chicken breasts, cubed
1 large carrot, chopped
1 cup green peas
1-2 green chilis, split
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp garam masala
1 ½ cup coconut milk (small can)
1 cup homemade vegetable or chicken stock
¾ cup raisins
pinch of saffron threads
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
3 bay leaves
3 cinnamon sticks
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
½ cup almonds, chopped
½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
Fresh lime wedges and plain yogurt for serving.

Place a cast iron pot over medium heat and add coconut oil. Once melted, add cumin seeds and stir until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add onions, garlic, ginger and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes. Add rice and stir until it has toasted slightly. Add the turmeric, garam masala, salt and pepper. If you need, add a few tablespoons of stock to loosen bits from the pot. Once the rice has toasted slightly (about 1 minute), add the coconut milk and stock. Add chicken, raisins, bay leaves, saffron threads and cinnamon sticks. Increase the heat to medium high and bring the biryani to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot and allow the biryani to cook for 18-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast coconut by placing it on a sheet pan and broiling it at 450° F for 3-5 minutes in your oven. It only takes a few minutes!

Garnish the biryani sliced almonds, cilantro and toasted coconut. Serve with fresh lime wedges and plain yogurt at the table.

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