Comfort food at its best! Akni, Memon style

As the winter nights draw in there is no better feeling than slipping into your comfy clothes after a long hard day at work, cranking up the heating and tucking into a nice hearty plate of comfort food. For me this is a plate of steaming hot akni.

For those of you who never heard of this you are in for a treat. Akni combines rice, potatoes and meat into one tasty dish – a one stop shop for all of you curry lovers out there. The recipe has traveled around a fair bit starting off in India, moving to Malawi and now in the UK and I want to share the recipe with you all.

 Akni – Memon style

This recipe makes enough food to feed a family of 5 and it is memon style which means it’s a bit spicier then the normal akni, but you can reduce the amount of chili powder you use if you don’t like it too spicy.

All you need in one large pot and the ingredients below, I know it seems like a lot of ingredients but they are all things that live in the kitchen cupboard of a regular curry eater.

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken cut into 8 pieces or 1 kg lamb pieces
  • 1 large finely chopped onion
  • 1 ¼ cup of oil
  • 2 ½ cups of rice
  • 2 large potatoes cut into pieces
  • 1 can tinned tomatoes
  • Fresh coriander to garnish

Spices

  • 2 teaspoons whole cumin
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 7 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (1 inch each)
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric
  • 3 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander powder

 Instructions

  1. Place 2 teaspoons whole cumin, 5 cardamom pods (cracked open), 7 cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks (1 inch each) and 12 black peppercorns in a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon of water or just enough to cover the spices. Leave it to one side to soak.
  2. In a large pot add the oil and onions and cook on medium heat until the onions start to change colour. Once the onions are a pinkish colour add the soaked spices to the pot and place the lid. When it has stopped spluttering give a stir and continue to cook the onions with the lid off.
  3. When the onions start to turn golden brown, add the meat to the pan along with 1 tablespoon of garlic, 1 tablespoon of ginger, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons of cumin power and ½ teaspoon of turmeric. Cover the pot and let it cook on medium.
  4. After about 5 mins add 1 can of chopped tinned tomatoes, 3 teaspoons of paprika, and 1 teaspoon of chili powder (or more if you like it hot) and 2 teaspoons of coriander powder. Continue to cook until the chicken is cooked, then switch off and leave to one side.
  5. In a separate bowl wash 2 ½ cups of rice and leave it to one side.
  6. Peel and chop the potatoes into medium sized pieces and boil them until they are cooked – they should be firm not mushy. Once cooked leave them to one side.
  7. Put the curry on a high heat and add 4 ½ cups of boiling water. When the curry starts to boil add the washed rice and 2 ½ teaspoons of salt and precooked potatoes.
  8. Stir frequently to stop the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  9. When most of the water has evaporated, turn the heat to a low setting, cover the pot and let it simmer until the rice is cooked.
  10. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander and serve with yogurt raita.

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