Zanzibari Chicken Biryani with Coconut Dhal and Date Chutney

4.8/5 from 4 Customers

A taste of the exotic from the island of Zanzibar...


35 minutes

1 hour 15 minutes


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Over the centuries Zanzibar’s colourful cuisine has been a melting pot of far-flung cultures and spice trading - even Zanzibar’s name (also known as The Spice Island) evokes exotic aromas and exciting flavours.

Here we’ve got an Indian influenced dish of chicken biryani, although unlike a traditional biryani, the fragrant rice and chicken curry are cooked separately and in Zanzibari restaurants would be assembled to order. On the side we’ve got a rich coconut dhal, a hot and tangy date chutney and chilli salt fruit which is often served as a snack on the island.


35 minutes

1 hour 15 minutes




Rice Spices: cloves, green cardamon, cinnamon

Chicken Marinade: coriander, fennel, cumin, black pepper, turmeric, fenugreek, garlic, nutmeg, cloves

Curry Ground Spices: cumin, chilli, coriander, fennel, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, fenugreek

Tamarind Blend: tamarind (tamarind, cornstarch), amchur

Date Chutney Spices: red bell pepper, chilli, mild chilli flakes, garlic

Dhal Spices: cumin, brown MUSTARD, turmeric

Chilli Salt: mild chilli flakes, salt


  • 4 chicken legs or large thighs
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
  • Fresh ginger - finely chopped to make 1 tbsp
  • 3 tomatoes - roughly choppe
  • ½ cucumber
  • ½ small pineapple (or 200g ready-prepared)
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 300g basmati or standard long grain rice (not easy cook)
  • 200g red lentils
  • 200ml full fat coconut milk
  • 100g pitted dates - roughly chopped                

Product Rating (4):


Easy to make. Very tasty

Frank Hamilton View More

Piping hot! Looks amazing :)


My favourite one so far, delicious treat from Zanzibar... clear Indian links but very unique with the lovely fruit in it. Really recommend this one!

Charlotte Vitty View More

Great to see we got you trying something new! It looks like it was a lovely evening!


Very tasty and easy to make but not really spicy (so my daughter liked it too). I am planning to make this again and I will probably add a bit more chilli to the chutney to zing it up!

Mark Leonard View More

Sounds great! So glad you all enjoyed it!


Loved this recipe! Cooked mainly on the BBQ as we have no kitchen at the moment. However there is no Friday without the spicery. xxxx

Tanja Riddell View More

Love to hear that we're part of your weekly routine! Amazing that you cooked it all on the BBQ, nice job!

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