Akni Recipe | Chicken Akni

I’ve listed Chicken Akni a few times in my meal plans and I’ve promised to post it, so here it is, finally.

If you’ve never heard of Akni, it’s an aromatic and flavourful East African/Indian rice dish (that is not spicy if you don’t want it to be.) It combines, rice, potatoes and chicken (or beef) with beautiful spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cumin and more to make an amazing taste that you’ll love.

Chicken Akni Recipe

Ask any of my neighbors who have come in when I’m cooking it. The smell hooks them and the taste has them asking for more. So I’m going to share it. If you love Indian food, or you’re not a fan, you still have to try this!

Don’t get overwhelmed when you see the list of ingredients. Once you have all the ingredients ready, it’s easy street. It’s actually a one-pot dinner! Once you have all the ingredients, you won’t be using more than one pot on the stove. This means easy prep and easy clean-up. So let’s get started.

Akni Recipe

Akni ingredients

3 Tbsp olive oil

5-6 cardamom pods
4 cinnamon sticks
2 cloves
10 whole black peppers
1 green chilli (optional)
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
3 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
3 roma tomatoes (chopped)
pre-fried onions (6 fist fulls, literally)
4 large chicken breasts (each one cut into 4 pieces)
2-3 potatoes cut into 5 or 6 pieces each (I pre-baked the potatoes for a few minutes in the micro first)
1 Tbsp of minced garlic
3/4 Tbsp of minced ginger
1 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 tsp lemon juice
3 cups of basmati rice

If you don’t have any of these ingredients, you can usually find them in the ethnic isle at Superstore.
My recommendation is to have all your ingredients and measuring instruments ready and it’ll make the preparation much quicker.
Also, before you start, soak your rice in a bowl of water. Then rinse it with cold water before you’re about to add it to the pot.

1. Heat the oil on medium. Then add the cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves and whole black peppers. Let them cook for 2-3 mins.

2. Add the whole green chili (if you’re using it,) the cumin seeds and cilantro. Cook on med-low for 2-3 minutes. Watch this one because if you take your eyes off, the cumin seeds could burn and then you have to start all over again. This I know from experience. You can stir it a bit as well and this is what it will look like when it’s ready. It will already begin to smell fragrant (and hopefully not burnt.)

akni spices in the pot

3. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 3 mins. Do the same with the pre-fried onions. Here you can see that I actually used my fist for measuring the onions.

Akni - with fried onions

 4. Then you can add the cut up chicken breast, cut potatoes, minced ginger and garlic. Cook that for about 8-10 minutes on medium heat. (If it starts sticking to the bottom of the pot, add a 1/4 cup of water to it.)
akni cooking
 5. Add 2 and 1/2 cups of water, salt and lemon juice. Bring it to a boil.

6. Once it’s boiling, add the rice that’s already been soaked and rinsed. Reduce the heat to med-low and put the lid on the pot, just leaving a slight opening so that it’s not airtight.

7. Now this is where it gets a bit tricky because I feel like my timing is a little different each time. So I would say let it cook for 20-30 minutes and check on it a few times to make sure it’s not sticking or burning. By then you should have a mouth watering smell in your house and once you take the lid off, this is what your dish should look like:

akni finished

Sometimes, I’ve had it happen that the rice and everything is cooked, but it still seems a little wet or not fluffy. If that happens heat the oven to 250 degrees, cover the pot of Akni in foil and let it bake for another 10-15 minutes and you should be good to go.

We like to eat it with a side of plain yogurt and a carrot pickle that we can make at home in minutes.

Akni | Chicken Akni

Seriously, my mouth is actually watering while I write this post and look at the pictures!

If you’re feeling adventurous one day and want to try something different for dinner, I highly recommend this. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll be happy to answer them (or ask my mom for the answer.)

If you vegan or vegetarian, you might want to try this Vegetarian Akni Recipe.
Another one my favourite recipes from my mom is these Chicken and Chickpea Curry recipe that also has a vegan version as just Chickpea Curry.

Happy cooking 🙂

33 thoughts on “Akni Recipe | Chicken Akni

  1. Wow! I even think I can even make this dish. And, the fact that it’s easy to make in one big pot – for easy cleaning afterwards, makes it a winner!

    My husband loves Indian food, so I can see trying this dish soon.

    Thanks for linking with us 🙂

  2. Made this for supper tonight with brown rice and leftover turkey (added after). It was a hit! My 1-year-old ate 3 bowls! Thanks!

  3. My husband and I were looking, in a large library book sale today, for an Indian cookbook I am telling him about this dish right now – one pot, perfect. And yes, I would like the carrot recipe also. This is perfect for a fall evening in upstate New York, where I can still go to farmers markets and buy fresh carrots and potatoes.

  4. Hello, a friend of mine show me your nice recipe and I did it right away but when I end it I realized that my cardamom pods were left in the counter, I read again the recipe but I didn’t find when I should put the cardamom , would you be so kind to let me know ? Thank you in Advance

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  6. Tried it with a bit of variation for cauliflower instead of rice and it turned out superb! Thanks for the recipe!

  7. I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out amazing. Thank you so much for posting it.

  8. Its not like Briani no coriander no mint no ghee . But it seem very good . I want to taste aknee but i dont know if i could prepare it like your recettes. Thanks

  9. Thanks for posting. This looks like what my grandmother used to make and I’d like to try. Any more info about the “mugs” of rice? How big are these mugs? Or maybe the weight of rice that they hold to get some sense?

    1. Hi Shaila, thanks for the comment. Thanks for the push! I finally measured it out and 1 mug is basically 1.5 cups. So the entire recipe will be 3 cups of rice. I’ll update the recipe too. Good luck!

  10. Hi, I made this today and it turned out well. When you put the rice in do you mix it up straight away?

    Also can you tell me how to do the pre fried onions, because my ones looked soggy when yours looked crispy.

    1. I usually mix everything right away once I add in the rice, but gently. Where did you guy your prefried onions from? Also, I keep mine in the refridgerator once it’s opened. Ih ope that helps!

  11. Hi. I’ve followed the recipe and it turned out fantastic. Thank you!

    I was wondering, am I able to substitute the chicken for lamb pieces with out changing the recipe or cooking method?

    My nanima used to make lamb akni, it was my favourite as a kid ?

  12. Hi Salma
    I tried this recipe the only change was I cut my chicken breasts into smaller pieces instead of into 4. However, I’m getting into an issue where some rice at the bottom is overcooked and some rice at the top is still not cooked and crunchy. Any ideas on how to remedy? Do you think its because I didn’t cut the chicken up enough?

    1. Sorry for the delay in my response. I don’t think it was the chicken. Sometimes when my rice isn’t cooked evenly, I will take it off the stove and put it in the oven to cook a little more evenly. I useably cover the pot with foil and put it in at a low temperature.

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