Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Chicken Akhni

Chicken Akhni
Serves 6

1kg chicken pieces
6 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
250ml (1 cup) boiling water
3 large onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
250ml (1 cup) buttermilk
1 large whole fresh green chilli, slit open
1 tablespoon garlic and ginger paste
1/2 cup chopped fresh dhanya
2 1/2 teaspoons salt, to taste
2 1/2 teaspoons red leaf masala
2 teaspoons ground jeera
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons turmeric
1kg basmati rice
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 teaspoons jeera seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 bay leaves
6 cardamom pods, slit open
4 pieces of stick cinnamon
1/4 cup water

Wash the chicken pieces, drain and set aside. Pan-fry 1 chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of the butter until golden brown and set aside.

Place the chicken pieces in a large mixing bowl and add the buttermilk, green chilli, garlic and ginger paste, dhania, salt, red leaf masala, ground jeera, chilli powder, and turmeric. Mix thoroughly, ensuring that all of the chicken pieces are covered in the marinade. Set aside for 1 hour.

Rinse the rice in a colander, drain and place in a large pot on medium to high heat. Add water to reach halfway and 3 tablespoons salt. Boil till half-cooked (the rice grains should be firm). Transfer to a colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain and set aside.

Add the oil in a large cooking and heat. Add the remaining chopped onions along with the jeera seeds, mustard seeds, bay leaves, cardamom seeds and cinnamon and braise till golden in colour. Add the marinated chicken pieces and the potatoes along with the marinade, the 1/4 cup of water and simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes, or till the potatoes are 3/4 cooked.

Spoon the rice directly on top. Pour the fried onion with the melted butter over the rice, and lastly pour the cup of water over the rice and onions. Steam, covered, on medium heat for 35 minutes. Serve with dhai (yoghurt sauce) and tomato & onion salad.

Note: All akhnis and breyanis should be dished from the bottom up.

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