Akhni. The most magical creation of the human mind (and taste buds)
For those of you who have been unlucky enough to have not heard about this dish (or tasted it) allow me to enlighten you.
Akhni is a dish made up of rice, chicken or meat and potatoes all cooked together in one pot.
For me, it reminds me of home and being cared for.
Also when you are a full-time worker still on a student budget, you just want to make something that's not baked beans on toast.
I love cooking which is why, when I was feeling a bit homesick during the week, I texted my mum to get the recipe for my favourite dish.
Now, I would just like to say, that no one can beat your mums cooking. I got close but mum is a magical cook.
Akhni can be made with either lamb or chicken, but I find lamb akhni is the best, but substitute it as you will.
Also a quick note on the spices, I have put in the measurements but add in more or less depending on your preferences.
Safe to say this big pot I am going to finish all on my own....although my housemates have been eyeing in hungrily.
4-5 tbsp oil (I used olive oil)
1 cinnamon stick, snapped
3-4 cardamom pods
1-star anise, broken up
7-8 black peppercorns
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1kg Lamb, cut into medium pieces (I asked my butcher to do this)
1-2 tsp coriander powder
1-2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1-2 tsp chilli powder (also depending on how spicy you like it!)
4 cloves garlic
1-inch piece ginger
1 tin of peeled plum tomatoes, ground
1 tube tomato puree
1 bunch fresh coriander, ground
5 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cups of basmati rice
2 and 1/2 cups of water
1 tbsp margarine or butter
salt, to taste
First, wash your basmati rice under warm water to rinse away the starch and then soak in cold water for at least 30 minutes
Next, heat the oil in your pot, and add the sliced onions, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom pods, star anise, cumin seeds and peppercorns and cook until the onions are golden.
Then add the lamb with cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, chilli powder, ginger garlic paste and salt to taste. Stir and cook the lamb till it is tender.
After this, add in the ground tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, coriander and potatoes and let that cook until the potatoes are done.
Once they are done, add the water and bring to a boil. Then add the rice and margarine, bring to a boil again and then cook on low heat till the rice is fluffy.
I always have mine with yoghurt with cumin and salt in it.
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