Salams lovely sisters & brothers…hope you are all good and enjoying the lovely summer we have been having so far (including the typical British unpredictable random showers) Well the last day of Ramadhan my family and I jetted off to the amazing Istanbul…and we had a brilliant time..if you have never visited definitely do try and visit, a truly beautiful city..full of Islamic history, beautiful architecture and of course great food (mmmm baklava 😍)I’ll try and add some pics at the end of this recipe post. This post is for a rice dish called Chicken Akhni…rice can be such a filling dish and can be used to make so many different conbinations. This particular dish is made with a chicken curry base, it’s very flavoursome, the rice is actually cooked into the curry rather than it being layered like biryani. Lamb meat can also be used for this. I have tried both chicken and lamb using the same method and ingredients but just allow more cooking time for the lamb. With a side of cucumber raita and spicy yoghurt lassi you won’t want to stop till u finish the pot (that kinda rhymes 😁) So here goes….Bismillah
1 Chicken (cut into medium pieces, cleaned and drained)
1/4 cup oil
3 Tbs Ghee
2 onions (sliced thinly)
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
3 cinnamon sticks
1 Tbs whole jeera (cumin seeds)
3 elaichi (cardamon pods)
3 Bay leaves
2 tinned tomatoes (blended)
1 and half tsp Red chili powder
1/4 tsp haldi (turmeric)
1 and 1/2 tsp Salt
3 tsp Dhana Jeeru powder (coriander/cumin powder)
3 Tbs Tomato Puree
3 tsp Paprika
3 potatoes (cut into large cubes)
Handful of chopped fresh coriander
2 Mugs of Basmati Rice ( washed thrice and left to soak in warm water for around 45 minutes)
Heat a large pot and pour in the oil and add the ghee, once oil has heated up and the ghee has melted, add the sliced onions, the cumin seeds, cardamon, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves and fry until lightly golden, stir every so often to ensure they are evenly browned.
Once onions are golden, add the blended tomatoes and all the dry spices including the ginger garlic paste. Stir well and cook with lid on for around 10 minutes on low to medium heat. Now add the tomato Puree and paprika, stir and cook further for around 5-8 minutes until the oil has separated.
Now add the chicken and stir and cook covered on low heat. After around another 10 minutes stir and add the potatoes and the chopped coriander. Cook further and check again to see the oil has separated and the masala is a rich colour and thickness.
Boil some water in a kettle and add 3 mugs of the boiled water to the chicken and add 2 and 1/2 tsp of salt. Bring the chicken to the boil and add the drained rice and bring to the boil again. Taste for salt and lower the heat slightly. Let the rice absorb the water and as the water gets more absorbed keep lowering heat.
Stir gently to check the rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pot. When most of the water is absorbed, cover and lower heat completely and cook for 5-7 minutes. Check the rice and if needs be add a little bit more boiled water.
Heat the oven at gas mark 4 and place the pot in oven. Keep in oven for around half and hour and check the potatoes are cooked through.
Make a raita with cubed cucumber, chopped red onions and cubed peppers, add salt, cumin powder, a bit of crushed red chillies, chopped coriander, salt to taste and Greek yoghurt.
Heat the oil and ghee and add the sliced onions plus whole spices
Fry the onions until lightly golden
Add the dry spices, salt and ginger garlic
Cook for a while until oil starts to separate
Now add the tomato Puree and paprika
Cook further on low heat until the masala is rich and thick and oil has separated completely
Add the cleaned and drained chicken
Mix well, cover and cook further
It should now look like this
Now add the cubed potatoes and fresh coriander, mix gently and cook further on low to medium heat
Allow to cook until the potatoes start to soften
Add 3 to 3 1/2 mugs of boiled water and add the drained rice
Let the rice absorb the water, lower the heat as the water reduces, then cover and leave to cook on low heat
When it looks like this you can put in the oven to allow to cook completely
Make up the raita and get ready to enjoy!!
As promised here’s a few pics from our trip to Istanbul ❤️🇹🇷
The beautiful Sultanahmet mosque, better known as ‘The Blue Mosque’
Beautiful calligraphy in the Hagia Sophia
Inside the Blue Mosque
Fabulous Turkish cuisine