Healthy Chicken Akni (Pulao) was my friend Alnaar’s favourite meal growing up, so she very generously shared it with me. 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.
Ingredients in Healthy Full Flavoured Chicken Akni (Pulao)
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.
Cumin Seed, Cardamom Pods, Whole Cloves, Peppercorns, Cinnamon, Salt
- Fresh Ingredients
Tomato, Red Onion, Serrano (or Jalapeno) Pepper, Red Baby Potatoes, Fresh Lemon Juice, Fresh Garlic, Fresh Ginger
- Coconut Oil
I use Basmati Rice but you could use another type if you prefer.
I use a mix of boneless, skinless breast & thigh pieces.
Tips for making Healthy Full Flavoured Chicken Akni (Pulao)
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 Alnaar says she hated growing up was getting a clove or a cardamom pod in her mouth by accident. I agree, gross right! Most people (her 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 (once again gross)! So…her solution is to put all of the spices (except for the cumin seeds) in a tea diffuser and just throw that in once you add the water. Brilliant right! When the Chicken Akni (pulao) is cooked, just remove the diffuser. Easy peasy right?!
The photo below is what your Chicken 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 The Best Kachumber (Spicy Indian Salad). Kids often like to mix yogourt into the Pulao as well.
I hope you love this Healthy Full Flavoured Chicken Akni (Pulao)! If you make it, please feel free to rate and comment below so I know you liked it! I’d be so thrilled if you’d follow me on Instagram @Turmeric_Me_Crazy.
As always, thank you kindly for your readership!
- 1 Tomato
- 1/2 Medium Red Onion
- 1 Serrano or Jalapeno Pepper Optional
- 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 2 tbsp Cumin Seed
- 1 kg Chicken boneless, skinless breast and thigh pieces
- 1 tbsp Crushed Garlic
- 1 tbsp Crushed Ginger
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3 cups Water
- 4 Cardamom Pods
- 4 Whole Cloves
- 1/2 stick Cinnamon
- 10 Peppercorns
- 2 cups Basmati Rice
- 5 Red Baby Potatoes cut in half
- 2 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- 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.