For a satisfying dinner your whole family will love, try this gloriously aromatic dish of rice, chicken, potatoes and spices. Serve with a contrasting fresh sambal made with tomatoes, onions and chillies.

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Prep Time: 25

Robertsons - Website Banners & Assets

Cook Time: 60

Robertsons - Website Banners & Assets

Serves: 6

Robertsons - Website Banners & Assets

Difficulty: intermediate


  • 1 kg chicken pieces
  • 75 ml (5 tbsp) butter
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) cumin seeds
  • 2 pieces cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 Robertsons peppercorns
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) garlic and ginger paste
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) Rajah Mild Masala Curry Powder
  • 1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) Robertsons Turmeric
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) Robertsons Chilli Powder
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) ground coriander
  • 7.5 ml (1.5 tsp) garam masala
  • 2 large tomatoes skin removed and blended
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) tomato paste
  • 1 cup basmati or long grain rice
  • 3 potatoes quartered
  • 1 handful fresh coriander
  • 1 handful mint leaves
  • 500 ml (2 cups) water
  • 2 ml salt to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 160 °C.

  2. Pat the chicken pieces dry on kitchen paper and set aside. Peel the potatoes and cut them into four pieces, or smaller if you prefer. Add a few tablespoons of water, cover and steam for 5 minutes in the microwave, or cook them in boiling water on the stove for 10 minutes. Set aside.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot. Add the cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves, bay leaves and peppercorns, and fry until fragrant. Now add the onion and fry until golden brown and caramelised.

  4. Stir in the ginger/garlic paste and fry for a minute. Add the Rajah Mild Masala Curry Powder, turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, coriander and garam masala, and fry for 2 minutes.

  5. Add the chicken pieces and mix well. Leave the pot uncovered and fry the ingredients for 10 minutes over a low heat. Add a few drops of water if required. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste.

  6. Cover the pot and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir in the rice, potatoes, coriander and mint. Add 2 cups water (or less, depending on how quickly you think your potatoes will cook). Season to taste with salt.

  7. Cover the pot and place it in the oven. Bake for one hour, or until the potatoes and rice are cooked. When cooked, the Akhni should remain a little moist but should not be mushy. Halfway through the cooking time, cut the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter into little cubes and place them in the pot.

  8. Serve hot with side dishes of your choice.