Margarita's International Recipes

A Bruneian Menu


Bruneian Chicken with Rice

The name of this dish, "beriani," conjured in my mind images of Indian/Pakistani biryanis. And indeed, much in the dish evokes that origin. It's spiced with cinnamon, cardamon, coriander, curry and cloves, and the rice and chicken are cooked separately at first, and then put together to finish cooking, the traditional biryani technique. But Bruneian beriani also pays homage to its south east asian location by using coconut milk to flavor the rice. The use of cashews and almonds may be Bruneian or Malaysian, though I really don't know.

The dish was very good. It was very subtly spiced, if you like strong flavors you may want to double the spices (though I won't guarantee that that will work), but it was profoundly homey and satisfying. The rice mixed with the spiced ghee from the chicken was particularly wonderful. Mike, in particular, loved it - and while it's not the healthiest or quickest of dishes, I think I will have to make it again for him.

I followed this recipe quite closely. The original recipe, however, called for half a coconut grated, but did not specify how to use it, so I skipped it. I also used store bought coconut milk instead of getting it out of a coconut myself. And I didn't have basmati rice, so I used jasmine rice instead, it worked quite well.




Grind together the garlic, cashew nuts, almonds, poppy seeds, chillies and ginger. Set aside.

In a large pot, heat the ghee and fry the shallots, the cloves and the cinnamon until the shallots start to caramelize. Add the chicken, the salt and the curry powder. Stir and cook covered for 10 minutes.

In a different large pot, combine the rice with the coconut milk and the salt. Cook it until the rice absorbs all the coconut milk. Note, the rice will not be whole cooked by then.

Make a well in the center of the pot of rice and place the chicken and sauce there. Cover and cook in a very low fire until both the rice and chicken are cooked through.

Adapted from a recipe at

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