Akni is one of our family’s favourite meals. Traditionally we make it with chicken or beef. Lately, as we are trying to add more vegetarian meals into our meal plan, I tried to experiment with other things to replace the chicken. I tried tofu and it was not bad but I still need to tweak that recipe. Recently I tried it with peas and it turned out to be a great Vegetarian Akni.
Not only is akni a delicious and healthy dinner, it’s also a one-pot meal which makes clean up a lot easier too!
Vegetarian Akni Recipe
3 Tbsp of oil (I’ve used oil and canola)
5-6 cardamom pods
4 cinnamon sticks
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)
2-3 potatoes cut into 5 or 6 pieces each (I pre-baked the potatoes for a few minutes in the microwave first)
1.5 cups of frozen or fresh peas (if they are frozen, just run them under cold water to quickly defrost)
1 Tbsp of minced garlic
3/4 Tbsp of minced ginger
1 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 mugs of basmati rice (not measuring cups, but a cup/mug you would drink your tea or coffee from)
1. In a large pot, heat the oil on medium. Add in 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 it gets too hot, the cumin seeds could burn and then you have to start all over again. This I know from experience. Stir it a bit and you should be able to smell the fragrance of the spices.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 3 mins. Then do the same with the pre-fried onions.
4. At this point you can add in the cut up potatoes, peas, minced ginger and garlic. Cook it all for about 8-10 minutes on medium heat. (If it starts sticking to the bottom of the pot, add a 1/4-1/2 a cup of water to it.)
5. Pour in 2 and 1/2 cups of water, the salt and lemon juice. Bring it all 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. Let it cook for 20-30 minutes and check on it a few times to make sure it’s not sticking or burning. If it does start sticking, you can add a little bit of water. I wish I could give you an exact time, but it’s different each time I make it.
If the time is up and it still looks like your rice isn’t totally cook but you don’t want to leave it cooking on the stove because it’ll start to burn, here’s what you can do. 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.
It’s traditionally eaten with plain yogurt and carrot pickle. I’ve tried making the carrots many times but it never tastes as good as my moms so unfortunately I don’t have the recipe for you.
Even on it’s own, it’s really delicious, healthy and even vegan! Perfect for your next dinner and even to pack for lunch. But if you’re a chicken or beef kind of person, than make sure to check out my other Akni recipe.