Chicken Akani (Chicken Pilau)

In South Asia, pulao ( or pilau) is a dish consisting of a combination of rice and usually including peas, potatoes, mutton, beef, or chicken.  Akani or pilau is meat (and /or vegetables) and rice cooked together.   It is usually served on special occasions and weddings. Meat pulao is a Pakistani and North Indian traditional dish, especially among the Muslim population. 


  • 1               whole chicken ( 3 – 4 lbs)
  • 2               med onions 
  • 3               potatoes
  • 2               cups rice
  • 1/4            cup oil
  • 6               elichi pods (cardamom)
  • 6               cloves
  • 1/2            tsp black pepper
  • 1/2            tsp  cumin
  • 1               stick cinnamon (2 inches)
  • 1               jalapeno  pepper
  • 2               medium tomatoes (4 small)
  • 1               tsp  crushed garlic
  • 1               tsp  crushed ginger
  • 1/2            tsp  dhana jeera
  • 1/2            cup yoghurt
  • 1               tsp salt
  • 1/2            tsp  red chilly powder (optional)
  • 2               cups water
  • 1               tsp garam masala
  • 10             strands saffron


  1. Heat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Skin and cut the chicken into 10 pieces.  Remove all the fat and rinse the chicken in cold water.
  3. Peel and thinly slice the onions.
  4. Peel and cut the potatoes into quarters.  Leave them in the water.
  5. Rinse the rice.  Soak the rice in cold water, rub it gently with your fingers and transfer the rice to a sieve and  let the cold water run till  the water comes out clean.
  6. Finely chop the tomatoes
  7. In a medium saucepan heat the oil.  Add the sliced onions, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cumin and cinnamon stick and jalapeno.  Stir and cook till the onions turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. 
  8. Add the chopped tomatoes, garlic, ginger, dhana jeera, chilly powder and salt.  Stir this for 2 minutes.
  9. Add the chicken and yoghurt and stir this for 2 min.
  10. Add the water.  When the water starts to boil, add the rice and potatoes,  stir well, cover and cook on medium heat till the water evaporates, about 10 min.
  11. Sprinkle the garam masala and saffron, cover and cook in the oven for about 15 min.  The rice will be dry and fluffy.
  12. Gently turn the rice, switch off the oven and leave it in the oven till you are ready to serve.
  13. Serve with carrot pickle, katcumber and yoghurt.

Instant Pot

  1. Heat the oil in an instant Pot, and fry the onions and the spices, till the onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes, the rest of the spices and yoghurt, mix and  cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the the water, chicken, rice and potatoes, mix and cook on Auto rice(10 min).

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