Coconut Chicken (Akoho Sy Voanio)

Slofoodgroup Team December 22, 2021

Akoho Sy Voanio - A Sultry Chicken Dish from Madagascar 

Akoho sy voanio, or poulet au coco is a traditional Malagasy dish consisting of chicken cooked in a spiced coconut sauce. It’s made with a combination of chicken, stir-fried tomatoes, onions, garlic, and ginger then gently simmered in coconut milk, seasoned with saffron, salt, and pepper. Although this dish is a typical Christmas dinner in Madagascar, we find it very accessible to make throughout the year. Using pantry ingredients, this recipe is great for leftovers or for meal prepping. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days or it can be frozen for up to 3 months. Must be served with rice.

How to make Madagascar's traditional Christmas Dish

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 20‘

Cooking Time: 45’

Additional Time: 0’ 


  • 1 pound chicken breast, cubed
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • thumb size slice of ginger, finely chopped
  • 6-7 strands of saffron
  • 1 pound Roma tomatoes, blanched and peeled
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooked rice, to serve


  1. Lightly fry the tomatoes together with the onion, ginger, and garlic in a pan;
  2. Add the coconut milk and allow to simmer for 30 minutes; blend to a smooth sauce;
  3. Lightly season the chicken breast with salt and pepper and sauté in vegetable oil;
  4. Add the cooked chicken to the sauce and cook for 15 minutes more;
  5. Season with saffron, salt, and pepper to taste;
  6. Serve over rice.



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