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Chicken Biryani With Coconut Milk

During Christmas holidays we visited our cousins in Boston. My cousin’s place, we had delicious and comfort vegetarian food, something I was craving a lot. At V’s cousin’s place, we had all non vegetarian meals. I was in a foodie’s heaven, amazing food at both places and we had a very relaxing time.

This dish was prepared for us by V’s cousin’s wife Poornima Vaini. She made all-chicken dinner and lunch for us. Since I am a big Biryani lover, I really enjoyed this Biryani with coconut milk in it. She shared her recipe with me. I might have missed one or more steps, but this came out really well when I came back and made this. It is extremely easy one to make (I don’t know why it is called Biryani, because rice is not cooked separately here. Everything is mixed and cooked at once, but I will still stick to the name).

Make a big batch of it, as it is just out of this world and it disappears in no time.

1/2 kg (17oz approx) chicken
2 cups basmati rice
2 cups(1 can) light coconut milk
3/4 cup onion slices
1/2 cup tomato
4-5 strands coriander leaves
1 tea spn coriander powder
1-2 tea spns chilli powder
3 green chillies
1 tea spn ginger paste
1 tea spn garlic paste
Whole Spices :
4-5 cloves
2″ cinnamon
4 green cardamom
2 bay leaves

Add ginger paste, garlic paste, green chilies (chopped finely or made into paste), chilli powder, coriander powder and salt to chicken pieces. Mix well and keep aside for about 30mins.
Heat ghee/oil (I add both ghee and oil) and add all whole spices. Now add onion and fry till they are brownish.
Add chicken along with all marinade and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add rice, tomato and fry for few more minutes.
Now pour in the coconut milk and about 1 and 1/2 cups water, salt, mix well. Cover the lid and cook on a medium heat till done. Garnish with coriander leaves. Switch off heat and leave it as it is for about 15-20mins. Serve hot.
Serve with cold raita.

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 45mins

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{ 37 comments… add one }

  • Anupama January 31, 2010, 12:43 pm

    The biryani looks delicious..Will definitely be on my to do list :)

  • Cosmic Cook January 31, 2010, 1:32 pm

    This looks divine. And I love the fact that its all done in one pot. Thank you so much! :)

  • Cosmic Cook January 31, 2010, 1:33 pm

    Gujaratis call this ‘akhni’, and not biryani.

  • Pinky January 31, 2010, 2:31 pm

    Looks delicious…have never cooked rice with coconut milk before…will definitely try this!

  • SE January 31, 2010, 7:40 pm

    yeah…we especially cook this in a pressure cooker and call it chicken pulav…tastes better with all the flavors intact !!

  • Rujuta January 31, 2010, 9:15 pm


    Such a lovely looking biryani
    Nice recipe and lovely click……
    I love biryanis so looking at the click is making me really hungry :))
    And adding coconut milk to chicken biryani is a great idea

  • Chetana Ganatra January 31, 2010, 10:50 pm


  • Neelum February 1, 2010, 12:46 am

    I am definitely going to try this out ASAP !!

  • nisha February 1, 2010, 3:16 pm

    looks so mouthwatering!! so want to have it right now.. i have one question though, if u cook the rice and chicken together, wont the rice get overcooked?

    • Shilpa February 1, 2010, 4:38 pm

      No, it wont. You have to cook on medium low flame.

  • padmaja ravindranath February 1, 2010, 11:59 pm

    today iam going to do the biriyani. its looks moothwatering. my daughters favarest food. thank you.

  • Vasantha February 2, 2010, 6:32 am

    Hi Mrs.Shilpa,

    I have gone through most of your recipes, its really wonderful job you have done, you know……. I took almost 4 files of print of our recipes :-). Anyway I want to try one by one :-)


  • Shilpa February 2, 2010, 1:26 pm

    Hi Shilpa,

    My friends sugegsted this website and I have been hooked ever since. I have tried few of your recipies and have come out really well.

    I have one question regarding the cocunut milk in this recipie.Do you add the canned cocunut milk used in the Thai foods here or the homemade coconut milk?

    I have noticed that the Thai coconut milk tastes different from the ones which we get in India. I had used it in a payasam recipie once and it tasted very different.


    • Shilpa February 2, 2010, 3:26 pm

      As I mentioned in the recipe, I used canned coconut milk. You can use home made if you don’t like the taste of canned one.

  • Laurence February 3, 2010, 10:03 pm

    Hi Shilpa!
    I think it’s time I write to you, finally, after being silent for almost a year! Im a young french Canadian, living in Quebec city who LOVE your blog. Since a looooonng time, I follow it every single day! Im a huge fan of indian cuisine, from every region, and I try to stay as traditional as I can in this field, so your blog, with so many recipes help a lot!
    MERCI beaucoup!! Can’t wait to try this biryani recipe!

  • Lisette February 4, 2010, 2:44 am

    Wow! Looks incredibly delicious!

  • Rujuta February 4, 2010, 1:22 pm

    Dear Shilpa,

    I have an award to share with you……Do collect it from my blog…… Heartiest Congratulations dear and Happy Blogging……..

  • yaseen February 7, 2010, 4:55 am

    for that x factor just add i star aniseed to the rice while cooking, and dum it sealed tight with a 50 ml milk flavored with saffron(few strands), i bet you get a divine dish to enthrall ur guest.

  • Mitalee February 8, 2010, 12:58 pm

    Hi Shilpa! I am new to cooking and this will be my first try at a biryani. I have a silly question: when you add the rice to the chicken, are you adding cooked rice or raw rice? Thanks! Please keep the good recipes coming.

  • Lakshmi February 9, 2010, 9:13 am

    biryani looks divine and simple. no grinding involved!! will try this sometime.

  • sana February 10, 2010, 5:18 am

    Hi Silpa,
    Can you please post bisibeli rice recipe? I had in one of my karnataki friends house,;I
    took recipes also at that time,but forgot to write it down,now,I totally lost it from mind.


  • Priya February 13, 2010, 1:40 am

    Hi Shilpa,

    I am new to this site, most of your receipes very delicious, anyway I have one question…….

    who is aayi…..?


    • Shilpa February 13, 2010, 10:38 am

      Aayi means mother in Konkani.

  • Cosmic Cook February 16, 2010, 8:24 am

    I tried this recipe last night, with slight variations, and it was delicious. I have blogged about it here:


    Thank you so much Aayi.

  • Vidya April 25, 2010, 12:04 am

    I am vegetarian…but my children are not. I tried the receipe today and my children simply loved it.

    thank you Shilpa.

  • xxx July 28, 2010, 7:55 am

    all ur recipes are amazing and comes out well.hope all r tried and tested…………good work continue it

  • Kavita October 3, 2010, 2:13 pm

    Tried this biryani today. My friends loved it a lot!!!
    Thanks for sharing this easy biryani recipe.

  • Ashritha February 23, 2011, 7:01 pm

    heyy i tried it came really good .. thanks a lot.. i hav tried many recipes from yo site.. thanks..

  • Santosh March 13, 2011, 4:45 pm

    Tried this Biryani today. It was very very delicious. The coconut milk just gives it such an amazing flavour and aroma. So many Thanks to you and your Poornima vaini!!

  • Revathy April 11, 2011, 7:12 pm

    hi shilpa
    i am great fan of ur recipes.Today i prepared this chicken briyani. It came out really well. its rich in taste and aroma. Hats off to u for sharing it with us

  • Vinay August 16, 2011, 5:08 am

    Hi…All your recipes look great…very simple and the ingrediants are easily available..Gonna try “Dates Cake” first and then this Biryani..I am sure it will be great…Thanks Shilpa..a

  • Sabrina February 24, 2014, 11:21 pm

    Hi Shilpa,
    I really want to try your recipe, but I have one question, after frying the spices and chicken, can we add it to the rice with the coconut milk in a rice cooker?
    Thanks. It sure looks delicious though

    • Shilpa February 25, 2014, 10:35 pm

      I have never cooked chicken in rice cooker because I thought it may get overcooked. Try a small amount and see how it goes

  • Sal June 17, 2014, 3:28 pm

    Sounds delish….I wanna try it out soon but before that have a quick question – did you pressure cook the whole thing or just let it cook in a kadai. I usually pressure cook my pulao’s but see many videos that even make it in pans just covered well.

    • Shilpa June 17, 2014, 6:02 pm

      No, I don’t use pressure cooker for biryani/pulav. I make it in a pan or in rice cooker

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