Bangladeshi Chicken Akhni. For this recipe I have used boneless chicken pieces cooked separately in a delicious masala base then I finally combined them with rice which is fried in ghee before cooking it fully with hot boiled water. This recipe was inspired by my Mum's Chicken Akni.
Clean and cut your chicken in small pieces, wash and then drain. Cut the onions for the chicken and rice and keep them separately.
In a pot add 5 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add in the whole spices:
3 cinnamon sticks
3 cardamom pods
2 teaspoons of garlic
2 teaspoons of ginger
Mix and fry this on high heat for 4-5 minutes whilst stirring.
Once all the aroma has come out, add in the sliced large onion.
Add in the salt to taste- as a guide I added just about one tablespoon, keep in mind that you will also add salt in the rice.
Put the gas up and mix this in.
Once you've mixed it in, let this cook under medium heat, until the onions are soft. Cooking covered will speed this process. Make sure to stir at times. This will take about ten minutes. Adjust heat if required.
If the onions become too dry at this stage, add in a little amount of hot boiled water and mix it in. This will prevent it from burning.
Once the onions are soft, add in the spices listed below:
Tumeric powder 1/3 Tsp
Coriander powder 1 & 1/2 Tsp
Cumin powder 1 & 1/3 Tsp
Hot/Mild curry powder 1 & 3/4 Tsp (I normally use the Bolst's brand)
I always use a normal teaspoon to measure my spices.
Put the gas up and mix this in.
Let this cook on low heat, uncovered. Make sure to stir often. If the masala becomes too dry then add a little amount of hot boiled and mix it in to prevent it from burning.
Cook the spices for 8-10 minutes.
Add the chicken in.
Put the gas up and mix it in.
Keep the gas on high heat and cook covered on high heat so all the excess water can come out.
Once all the excess water comes out, uncover and let this cook on medium heat. Make sure to stir at times and adjust the heat if required.
Should start to look like this.
Cook until all the water dries up and the chicken looks cooked. Breast pieces shouldn't take too long to cook, as a guide it should take around 25-35 minutes.
Once done, turn the gas off and keep aside.
The rice should be washed & soaked whilst the chicken is cooking.
I used 3 cups of rice. If you don't have measuring cups, then use a standard tea mug to measure the rice and then use the same mug to measure the water at the end, to get the perfect rice.
Wash the rice with cold water until the water is clear and then soak this for half an hour only. After half an hour, drain the rice fully.
In a big high up pot, add the 4 & 1/2 Tablespoons of ghee.
If you do not like using ghee due to allergies or any other reason then you can use butter and a little amount of oil to prevent the butter from burning.
Put the gas up and let the ghee/butter melt.
Once it does, add:
Cumin seeds 1 & 1/3 Tsp
Ginger grated/finely chopped
3 Cinnamon sticks
Keep the gas on high heat and mix this in. Fry this on high heat mainly by stirring for 4-5 minutes,
Add the onions and mix it in on high heat.
Let this cook on high heat for few minutes.
Cook the onions by stirring often and adjust heat a bit if required.
Cook until the onions are nice and golden. Once they are, add in the salt.
With this tablespoon I added one spoon & bit more. Keep in mind the chicken will also have salt in it whilst add salt to your taste.
Mix this in on high heat.
Cook this for 2-4 minutes on low heat.
Add the rice in.
Mix this in, keep the gas on high heat.
Put the heat down inbetween medium to low heat and fry the rice for 5-6 minutes, put the gas right down if you feel it will burn. Stir the rice gently at times- the rice needs to fry in the ghee.
During this stage, boil a kettle of water.
After 5-6 minutes add the chicken in, put the gas up and mix it in.
Mix the chicken in and cook for 2-4 minutes on high heat.
Put the heat down and add in 5 cups of hot boiled water, 2 cups of the peas/mixed veg you're using and the green chillies.
If you prefer the rice to be a bit more moist then you can add in another 1/2 a cup of water. Sometimes the end result of the rice will be different due to the brand of rice used.
Put the gas up and mix this in properly. The water will start to bubble up and then dry up slowly.
Once it does and it looks like the picture, follow the next step.
Put the gas down, cover the pot fully with aluminium foil and place the lid on top.
You can either move the pot to the slowest burner on the cooker, or cook on low heat where it is until the rice is fully done.
This final stage for the rice to cook fully will take 15-20 minutes.
After 15-20 minutes, the rice should be like this. Turn the heat off.
Let this rest for 10-20 minutes before serving.
Serve and enjoy!