This was my favourite meal growing up. Akni (also known as Pulao) is an East Indian / African rice dish. You can make it with either beef or chicken. The recipe here calls for chicken but you could follow the exact same steps and use beef instead if you prefer. I would use stewing beef since its already cubed.
One of the main ingredients in Akni (pulao) is cumin seed. Cumin seeds are a great source of iron and have also been used traditionally to aid digestion. The photo above shows the cumin seeds to the right of the rice in case you are wondering what they look like.
I like to blend the onion and tomato used in the recipe in a magic bullet. Its really quick and easy but you could use any kind of blender that you have on hand.
The one thing that I hated growing up was getting a clove or a cardamom pod in my mouth by accident. Most people (my mom included) like to throw all the spices into the pot to add flavour, but then you have to worry about accidentally eating one whole (which is so gross!). So, my solution is to put all of the spices (except for the cumin seeds) in a tea diffuser and just throw that in once I add the water. When the Akni (pulao) is cooked, I just remove the diffuser.
The photo below is what your akni should look like once the rice is cooked and all of the water is absorbed. You can eat it on its own or with kachumber which is a spicy salad. My kids like to mix yogourt into the pulao as well.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
Blend tomato, onion and optional hot pepper and set aside.
Dice chicken into 1 inch cubes.
Melt coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat and add cumin seed. Once cumin seed is sizzling, add garlic, ginger and salt. Stir and then add chicken. Sauté for a few minutes.
Add onion and tomato mixture and cook for about 10 minutes.
Place cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorn in a diffuser or mesh bag. Add to pot with 3 cups of water.
Rince rice with water 3 or 4 times.
Stir in rice and baby potatoes once water comes to a boil. Wait a minute to make sure that the water is still boiling and cover pot with lid. Simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes. Do not stir or rice will break and become mushy.
Once all of the water is absorbed, squeeze fresh lemon juice over akni.
Serve with kachumber or yogourt.
Chicken Akni (Pulao) Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 468Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Total Carbohydrates 41g14%
Dietary Fiber 1g4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Please Note that these are just estimates calculated from the raw ingredients in the recipe.