In an oven safe pot, fry 4 peeled, quartered and coloured potatoes (I did not peel the potatoes
Just scrubbed and quartered because we like it this way sometimes),
2 large onion,
a tsp dried thyme & salt in a little oil until potatoes are half done.
Remove potatoes and half the onions and keep aside.
Add 2 teaspoons each of roasted and ground dhania & jeera seeds,
3 cinnamon sticks,
2 star anise,
5 elachi and
2 bay leaves,
1 tsp tumeric,
1 tsp ground black pepper,
2 tsp ginger and garlic paste,
2 tbs chilli powder,
curry leaves and
half tsp saffron and braise for +- 5 mins until spices are cooked.
Add 2 kgs cut, washed and drained lamb, mix well and cook for 15 mins on medium heat. Add 2 tbs tomato paste, 2 & 1/2 cups rice that has been soaked for a min of 3 hours (if using basmati rice, don’t soak) and washed.
Add 5 cups of boiling water (4 cups of boiling water if using basmati rice) and bring to the boil.
Cook on medium-high heat until water is almost completely absorbed.
Add 1-2 cups of frozen peas if u like and gently mix into the akhni together with the fried onions that you kept aside.
If you are in the mood to use another pot, you can boil a few eggs and place boiled eggs into the akhni at this stage (optional).
Spread fried potatoes over the top, add a few blobs of butter over the top, cover pot with foil and then the lid and bake in a preheated oven at 160 deg cel for 45 mins or until all the liquid is totally absorbed.
Prepared, tried and tested by: Irene Dasari