Chicken Ahkni

by Kyla Van Heerden
Chicken Ahkni by Fatima Sydow

Chicken ahkni is a type of curry where the rice is cooked with the curry, allowing the flavours to infuse into the rice. It’s different from a breyani, which is made up of layered ingredients. Ahkni is a favourite in my house and there are never any leftovers.

Fatima Sydow
Chicken Ahkni by Fatima Sydow

Essential Flavours - Chicken Ahkni

Serves: 6-8 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 3 x 250 ml (3 C) basmati rice
  • 60 ml (¼ C) oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 30 ml (2 T) grated fresh ginger
  • 5 ml (1 t) turmeric
  • 30 ml (2 T) ahkni masala
  • 30 ml (2 T) leaf masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1,5 kg chicken portions, skin removed
  • 6 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 125 ml (½ C) chopped fresh coriander


  1. First cook the rice in water with 5 ml (1 t) salt and a pinch of turmeric for 6 minutes only. Rinse with cold water, drain and set aside. 
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot on medium to high heat and fry the onions, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, star anise and bay leaves, stirring until the onions are golden brown. Next, stir in the garlic and ginger, the rest of the spices and salt, and fry for 2 minutes. Add 125 ml (½ C) water and cook for 10 minutes. 
  3. Add 500 ml (2 C) water, the chicken and potatoes and stir. Cook until the potatoes are almost soft. Stir in the cooked rice and fresh coriander and simmer for 15–20 minutes. Stir once. Close the lid and switch off the heat and leave for 10–15 minutes. 



Serve with sambal. 

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