Mutton Akhni

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Salwaa’s Mutton Akhni

Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights – Salwaa Smith

Akhni is basically a rice and curry dish which have been made into one. Mutton, lamb or chicken pieces are made into a dish very similar to curry and topped with rice. Basmati or long grain rice is best to use for this dish as with all rice dishes. Akhni is very often served at large gatherings and sometimes made over an open fire (BBQ). The taste of akhni made over an open fire changes completely in comparison to one made on an electric or gas stove. There are different versions of akhni available e.g. akhni is made in most Asian countries and varies by region. Here I share my version of Cape Malay akhni which is served with dhai, tomato and onion salad or various atchars.

Mutton Akhni
Mutton Akhni

 

Ingredients:
1kg mutton/lamb pieces
6 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
1 heaped tsp of saffron
3 large onions, finely chopped
50g butter or margarine
1 cup buttermilk
1 large whole fresh green chilli, slit open
1 Tbsp garlic and ginger paste
1/2 cup chopped fresh dhanya
2 & 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
2 & 1/2 tsp red leaf masala/roasted masala
2 tsp ground jeera/cumin
2 tsp ground coriander/koljana
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp turmeric/borrie
4 – 5 cups basmati rice
1/2 cup cooking oil
2 tsp jeera seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 bay leaves
6 cardamom pods, slit open
4 pieces of stick cinnamon
6 all-spices
6 cloves

Method
Wash the mutton pieces, drain and set aside. Boil the potatoes in a little water, till half-cooked but still firm. Infuse the saffron in 1 cup of boiling water and set aside.

Melt the butter in a pan and fry 1 chopped onion in the butter and set aside.

Place the mutton pieces in a large mixing bowl and add the buttermilk, green chilli, garlic and ginger paste, dhania, salt, red leaf masala, ground jeera, ground coriander, chilli powder, and turmeric. Mix thoroughly, ensuring that all of the mutton pieces are covered in the marinade. Set aside for 1 hour.

Rinse the rice in a colander, drain and place in a large pot on medium to high heat. Add water to reach halfway and add 1 teaspoon salt. Boil till half-cooked (the rice grains should be firm). Transfer to a colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain and set aside.
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Heat a large pot on medium to high heat, add the oil. Add the jeera seeds, mustard seeds, bay leaves, cardamom seeds, all-spices,cloves and cinnamon. Stir-fry for 1 minute then add the remaining chopped chopped and braise till golden in colour. Add the marinated mutton pieces along with the marinade, the 1 cup of water and simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes, or till the meat is tender and cooked. Add more water if the meat becomes to dry.

Arrange the potatoes between the mutton pieces and spoon the rice directly on top. Pour the fried onion with the melted butter over the rice, and lastly pour the cup of water containing saffron plus 1 more cup of boiling water over the rice and onions. Turn the plate on high for 5 minutes, then lower it to low. Steam, covered, for 20 minutes. Turn the heat off, leave to “rest” for 10 minutes before serving with dhai and tomato & onion salad.

Note: All akhnis and breyanis should be dished from the bottom up.
Variation: The mutton may be substituted with lamb or chicken pieces (thigh, drumstick, wing and breast,) and prepared in exactly the same manner. Cooking time however will be less if using chicken or lamb. Note that the breast portion should be halved 🙂

How to make to tomato and onion salad 

How to make to dhai

© Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights

 

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Breyani

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Cape Malay Breyani – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights – Salwaa Smith

Traditional Cape Malay breyani served on Eid/labarang, weddings and special occasions. Serve with slices of boiled egg (optional) and atchars, dhai or tomato & onion sambal. Well worth the effort 🙂
Cape Malay Breyani
Cape Malay Breyani
Serves at least 6
750 g lamb, mutton or chicken pieces
For the marinade:
3 stick cinnamons
5 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
5 cloves
5 allspices
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp grated garlic
2 – 4 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
2 tsp koljana / coriander
½ tsp coarsely crushed black pepper
3 tsp jeera / cumin
2 tsp leave masala / roasted masala
1 – 2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp garam masala
2 medium tomatoes
½ cup plain yoghurt
½ bunch fresh dhanya, chopped
2 tsp salt
½ – 1 cup brown lentils
4 large potatoes
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large onions
3 – 4 cups long grain or basmati rice
2 bay leaves
2 stick cinnamons
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
Wash and drain the meat or chicken. Using a large dish or bowl add the meat and spices.
Liquidise ginger, garlic, tomato and yoghurt together. Pour this mixture on top of the meat. Add the ¾ of the chopped dhanya. Mix well and cover with cling film. Leave to marinade for at least two hours in the fridge or better still overnight. This will allow all the flavour to develop and the meat to be really flavourful.
Meanwhile boil the lentils, the amount of lentils depends on your taste, my family doesn’t like a lot of lentils in breyani, so I only use half a cup.
Peel, wash and cut the potatoes into round slices. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Fry the potatoes in the oil until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.
Peel and cut the onions into thin slices. Fry the onions in the same oil as you fried the potatoes until brown and crispy. Remove and set aside, reserving the oil.
Add the marinated meat into a large pot and cook until the meat is soft and tender about 35 – 45 minutes, depending on what cut or type of meat you using.
Parboil the rice with the salt, cinnamons and bay leaves. As soon as the water start bubbling remove from the heat our into a colander, rinse and leave to drain.
Mix the parboiled rice and cooked lentils into a bowl.
Now start the layers. Add a layer of potatoes in a large, deep and lightly greased ovenproof dish.
Then a layer of rice and lentils mixture. Add a layer of the cooked meat, including the sauce, followed by some of the fried onions. Continue layering the potatoes, rice, onions (reserve some onions for garnishing) until all the ingredients have been used and finishing with a layer of rice. Garnish with the braised onions, reserved dhanya and the butter, cut in pieces. Add 1 cup of hot water. Cover tightly with foil or the lid of the ovenproof dish. Cook in a preheated oven at 180C for 45 – 60 minutes.
Ensure you dish from all the layers by inserting your dishing up spoon right down and lifting it up. This way you can be sure to get from all the elements of the dish.
Serve with dhai (yoghurt sauce), tomato & onion salad or atchar.
© Cape Malay Cooking

Paella

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Paella - Cape Malay Cooking
Paella – Cape Malay Cooking

Serves 6
1kg seafood mix
3 large onions, finely sliced
Oil for frying
200gr mushrooms, sliced
1 large green pepper, finely sliced
1 large red pepper, finely sliced
1 large yellow pepper, finely sliced
3 cups uncooked basmati rice
Salt and Tabasco sauce to taste
Fresh chopped parsley for garnishing (optional)

Marinade
2 tbsp peri-peri, chilli or chutney sauce
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
5ml Tabasco sauce

Combine marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl, add seafood mix and marinate for about 1 hour. Meanwhile, fry onions in heated oil until golden. Add mushrooms and fry a further 5-10 minutes, or until softened. Remove onions and mushrooms from pan and set aside. Fry peppers in oil for 5 minutes, remove from pan and set aside. Transfer seafood and marinade to frying pan and fry for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, boil rice in salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse. Layer ingredients in a large saucepan as follows: first rice, then onions and mushrooms (reserving some onion and mushroom for garnishing) then the peppers and finally the seafood mixture. Continue layering until all ingredients have been used, sprinkling each layer with a little salt and Tabasco sauce. Steam, covered, over medium heat for 30 minutes. Garnish with reserved onions, mushrooms and chopped parsley if using. Serve with lemon atchar and enjoy

Seafood Paella
Seafood Paella

© Cape Malay Cooking

CHICK PEA RICE

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CHICK PEA RICE

Having canned chick peas on hand is quite useful for a quick and easy meal. When using canned chick peas, you don’t even have to cook for long. To make rice using chick peas doesn’t take much time at all. I like to add chopped pieces of boneless chicken for a filing meal for the kids. I don’t use much chili powder but to make an adult version, go ahead and increase the amount of chili powder and add some chopped green chilies to spice it up.

Chick Pea Rice

Ingredients:
2 cups of cooked rice

1 tin of canned chick peas

1  onion, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

2 sticks cinnamon

3 cardamom pods

Salt to taste

½  teaspoon ginger and garlic paste

½ teaspoon chili powder

Pinch of turmeric

½ teaspoon garam masala

½ teaspoon jeera powder

2 teaspoons oil

Small pieces of boneless chicken

Chopped dhanya leaves for garnish

Method:

  • Heat oil in a saucepan.
  • Add onions and sauté till translucent.
  • Add stick cinnamon and cardamoms.
  • Add the chicken now if using.
  • Stir and cook approximately 10 minutes or until chicken are cooked.
  • Then add the ginger garlic paste and sauté for 30 sec before adding the tomatoes.
  • Add the chick peas and some salt.
  • Cover and cook for about 5 minutes till the chick peas are cooked.
  • Add the turmeric, chili powder and garam masala and sauté for another couple of minutes.
  • Add in the cooked rice and mix it up well the cooked chick peas.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve warm.