Chicken Akni, One Pot Chicken and Rice –  Vibrant colours, Fluffy Rice and Aromatic Flavours make Akni the dish that everyone loves. This is the ultimate comfort food that has all the flavours of Biryani minus the hard work and layering. This is a Memon Akni recipe that is very popular in Leicester.

 

Chicken Akni

This is the most requested recipe EVER alongside Bharuchi Daal Chawal. I think I mentioned that I am Bharuchi in a recent post and have been inundated with requests to share the recipe that we Bharuchis are most known for since. So that is coming soon. 

Akni is similar to Biryani in that it has most of the same flavourings minus the Saffron. It however isn’t as time consuming and there is no need for layering or separate par boiling of rice etc. Removing all that hard work, makes Akni a very popular recipe that people make more often then Biryani and I can see why..

Akni is actually meant to be a little bit moist. The rice is still fluffy but it is also more stuck together rather then separate grains as you would see in Pilau or Biryani dishes.

There is no better feeling in the cold of winter, then to have a big bowl of spiced rice with meat and potatoes in your most comfiest outfit. I hope I am not the only one that makes sure I have on my fluffiest clothes when eating my favourite comfort food.

So what exactly is Akni?

Hands up everyone who enjoys making and eating one pot rice, meat and potato meals? I think that is pretty much everyone right?

If you’ve got your hand raised high – then this recipe is for YOU!! 

Akni is basically like a Chicken/Lamb/Mutton/Beef/Veg/Whatever you fancy curry, incorporated into fluffy spiced rice with potatoes. It is the ultimate one pot meal.

I have a feeling that you will love the savoury flavour of this delicious Akni. Often made instead of Biryani, when people are too busy or cannot be asked with the demands of Biryani making, this is the dish that gives so much for so little work.

This recipe is actually adapted from Radio Islam and I use it because it just works. I have changed it slightly by adjusting the oil/ghee quantities and adding green chilli. I also use less tomato. I also use just legs and thighs because I believe they are the most flavourful part of chicken.

I have seen a lot of websites using this recipe but I assume the original recipe is the one from Radio Islam. Please let me know if It isn’t so I can credit correctly.

The Memon Akni Hype

Before I got married and moved to Leicester, I didn’t know that there was such a thing as ‘memon akni’. I knew of akni and had had it plenty of times at home before but when I moved here, I would hear people mention memon akni all the time. My husbands friends were memon and one day I went round when they had made it alongside a really spicy chutney which I need to get the recipe for asap because it was divine. The Akni was absolutely delicious and I understood the hype.

What makes it so great

  • Using whole spices and allowing them to steam at the beginning of the cooking process adds a wonderful depth of flavour and aroma. 
  • Searing the chicken with the onions to brown the outside, but keep it raw on the inside – it will finish cooking with the rice. Caramelisation adds to the flavour of the chicken but the browning left in the pot forms part of the flavour base for the rice.
  • Using a lot of Paprika is I think one of the key things in this recipe because I wouldn’t use Paprika in a normal Akni recipe and if I did, I definitely wouldn’t use 3 teaspoons but that is what makes it so unique and tasty, in my opinion.
  • You can make the recipe up until the water is added and then just half an hour before lunch time, add the water and continue the steps as mentioned. This will keep the rice moist as it is supposed to be in Memon Akni.

How to make Chicken Akni Memon Style

Ingredients for Chicken Akni on a table Soak whole spices and set aside.

Heat the oil and ghee in a large pot over medium high heat. Braise onions then add in the soaked spices with the water. Cover and allow the spices to steam.Browned Onions and spices in a pot with wooden spatula Browned Onions and spices in a pot with wooden spatula Add the chicken and saute. Then stir in the Ginger, Garlic and Green Chilli. Saute a little.
Browned Onions and spices in a pot with chicken and wooden spatula Browned Onions and spices in a pot with browned chicken and wooden spatula Browned Onions and spices in a pot with browned chicken and ginger and garlic Add the salt, cumin powder and turmeric before pouring in the tomatoes, paprika, red chilli powder and coriander powder. Allow to cook for 15 – 20 minutes over medium/low heat.
Browned Chicken and spices in a pot with wooden spatula and Powdered Spices Chicken and spices and tomato in large pot with wooden spatula, pre mixed Pour in the water and add Salt. When the water comes to the boil, add soaked rice and potatoes. Cook on high heat and stir the rice several times. Chicken curry covered with water in pot with wooden spatula When there is very little water remaining, turn the heat right down. Cover and simmer until the rice is cooked. This will take 20 – 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander,
Chicken curry with water and rice on top in large pot

Complete Chicken Akni dish in large black potFor more one pot recipes, see:

One Pot Mushroom Orzo Bake

One Pot Lemon Chicken and Thyme Orzo

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Chicken, rice and potatoes Akni in a large pot on a grey background
5 from 7 votes
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Chicken Akni, One Pot Chicken and Rice

Chicken Akni, One Pot Chicken and Rice -  Vibrant colours, Fluffy Rice and Aromatic Flavours make Akni the dish that everyone loves. This is the ultimate comfort food that has all the flavours of Biryani minus the hard work and layering. This is a Memon Akni recipe that is very popular in Leicester.

Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian, Indian, Memon
Prep Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Soak Rice 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Calories 617 kcal

Ingredients

Whole Spices

  • 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 5 Cardamom Pods slightly bashed open
  • 7 Cloves
  • 2 sticks Cinnamon
  • 12 Black Peppercorns

Rice, Chicken and Potatoes

  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 large Onion sliced finely
  • 1 kg Chicken legs and thighs combined skinless
  • 1 inch Ginger grated finely
  • 6 - 8 Garlic Cloves crushed
  • 1 Green Chilli pierced (Optional)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 500 g Tinned tomato or Passata blended
  • 3 tsp Paprika Not sweet or smoked
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder Or according to taste
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 4.5 cups Water Boiled
  • 2.5 tsp Salt
  • 2.5 cups Rice washed and soaked for 1 hour
  • 3 large Potatoes peeled and chopped into 1 inch quarters

Instructions

  1. Soak the whole spices and set aside.

  2. Heat the oil and ghee in a large pot over medium high heat. Braise onions and after 5 - 6 minutes, add in the soaked spices with the water. Cover and allow the spices to steam for 4 minutes. Keep an eye on the onions to make sure they aren't browning too much. 

  3. Add the chicken and saute for 5 minutes. Then stir in the Ginger, Garlic and Green Chilli. Saute for 2 minutes.

  4. Add the salt, cumin powder and turmeric and allow to cook for 2 minutes before pouring in the tomatoes, paprika, red chilli powder and coriander powder. Allow to cook for 15 - 20 minutes over medium/low heat.

  5. Pour in the water and add Salt. When the water comes to the boil, add soaked rice and potatoes. Cook on high heat and stir the rice several times. 

  6. When there is very little water remaining, turn the heat right down. Cover and simmer until the rice is cooked. This will take 20 - 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander,

Recipe Notes

  • Using whole spices and allowing them to steam at the beginning of the cooking process adds a wonderful depth of flavour and aroma. 
  • Searing the chicken with the onions to brown the outside, but keep it raw on the inside – it will finish cooking with the rice. Caramelisation adds to the flavour of the chicken but the browning left in the pot forms part of the flavour base for the rice.
  • Using a lot of Paprika is I think one of the key things in this recipe because I wouldn't use Paprika in a normal Akni recipe and if I did, I definitely wouldn't use 3 teaspoons but that is what makes it so unique and tasty, in my opinion.
  • You can make the recipe up until the water is added and then just half an hour before lunch time, add the water and continue the steps as mentioned. This will keep the rice moist.
  • Akni is actually meant to be a little bit moist. The rice is still fluffy but it is also more stuck together rather then separate grains as you would see in Pilau or Biryani dishes.

 

Nutrition Info for Chicken Akni

Adapted from a Radio Islam Recipe.

16 thoughts on “Chicken Akni, One Pot Chicken and Rice

  1. 5 stars
    Our new favourite Friday night meal. This was to doe for!! We loved everything about it and are now steaming whole spices for other meals too

  2. I too only discovered Memon Akhni after moving to Leicester 👍🏽 Absolutely love the stuff, will definitely give this recipe a go!

  3. 5 stars
    I love how you’ve given the background behind this beautiful dish! I can’t wait to make it and explain it to my family and friends. Thank for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    One pot meals are THE best! I love how quick and easy this recipe is! Can’t go wrong with comforting chicken and rice!

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