murghor akhni

Murghor Akhni At times, it’s been discreet taps and at others, it’s been heavy knocks. But one way or the other, the rain has called upon the earth’s face everyday, for the last week now. It makes me glee, a sense of refreshment. However, for my Mr and my darlings, it’s not so pleasant. Having to travel to school and back with the bottoms of their trousers drenched, is not at all comfortable, especially for the Mr, as he has to travel forth and back, twice. Hence, I thought today deems for something special, Murghor Akhni.
Murghor AkhniGrowing up, I was amazed by my amma’s devotion to being a Wife and a Mother but it didn’t make sense to me. Why she’d wait late until midnight for my Abba to arrive from work and after making sure he’s eaten, she’d eat. Why she’d serve us fresh curries, but eat leftovers herself. Those were only a few questions amongst many others. But during my teenage years I came to understand it was all due to custom. I wasn’t sure if it was the custom of being a Bangladeshi wife, or a Sylheti wife or even a Muslim wife, all I knew it was customary and it didn’t seem right. But now, being blessed as a wife, a mother and most of all a Muslim, I know how wrong I was. It wasn’t custom, it was love, it’s still love that still makes her to those things even today and it’s the same love that made me cook this Murghor Akhni today.
Murghor AkhniAnother blessing that’s come with being a Wife/Mother, over the years I have managed to remember what my beloveds Love and Hate, especially when comes to food, I call it my Mind Library! Murghor Akhni was one of the first dished my U responded to with “I love it Mama” and since then It’s been catalogued it in his corner of Love, in my library. Now, it’s enjoyed by the whole family and personally I find it divine, Chicken and Basmati rice cooked together with earthy spices, rich Ghee and the usual roots. What’s not to like?
Murghor AkhniMurghor Akhni is very similar to a Chicken Pulao, with a few differences. It is a very typical and common dish eaten in Sylhet but I believe it’s derived from the Pakistani Yakhni recipe. I’ve come to know that there’s several ways of cooking Murghor Akhni but this is the I’ve learnt to cook it from my amma.

Murghor Akhni
Serves 5
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For the Chicken
  1. 500g Chicken, small pieces
  2. 100g Brown Onion, finely sliced
  3. 15g Garlic, grated
  4. 15g Ginger, grated
  5. 15g Ghee
  6. 5g Cinnamon stick
  7. 2 Indian Bay leaves
  8. 2 Green Cardamoms
  9. 1 Black Cardamom
  10. 2 Cloves
  11. 5 Black Peppercorns
  12. 1 tbsp Coriander powder
  13. 2 tsp Cumin powder
  14. 1 tsp Garam Masala
  15. 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  16. 1/2 tsp Chilli powder
  17. 1 litre Boiled Water
For the Rice
  1. 400g Basmati rice
  2. 50g Brown Onion, finely sliced
  3. 15g Ginger, grated
  4. 10g Green Chillies, pierced
  5. 30g Ghee
  6. 5g Cinnamon stick
  7. 2 Green Cardamoms
  8. 2 Cloves
  9. 5 Peppercorns
  10. 2 Indian Bay leaves
  11. 2 tsp Salt
  12. 10g Coriander, coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to Fan 150ºc /Gas Mark 2
  2. Take the rice in a large bowl and gently wash the rice in several changes of cold Water. Then, add enough Water to cover the rice by and inch high and let it soak for 30 minutes
  3. While the rice soaks, prepare the Chicken. place a 3 litre cooking pot or an alternative over medium heat and add the tablespoon of Ghee. Once heated, add the whole spices and cook for a 2 minutes. Then, add the Onion, fry for 5 minutes.
  4. Next add the Ginger, Garlic and Chicken and fry for another 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
  5. Next add your dry spices and salt, stir to mix thoroughly and then, add the litre of boiled Water, cover with a lid and let it cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
  6. Once the chicken has cooked, carefully drain and measure the broth. It should be around 700ml if not top it up with water to equal to 700ml and set aside
  7. Now, heat a wide and shallow pot over medium heat, once hot, place the Ghee, Ginger, whole spices in it and stir-fry for a few minutes. Then add the Onions, Chillies, Salt and fry for a further few minutes or just until the onions are translucent.
  8. Drain and add in the rice and fry for another few minutes over low-medium heat, carefully stir a few once or twice to coat all the grains in the ghee.
  9. Now add the Chicken mixture and the 700ml of broth, bring to a boil over high-heat and boil for 4-5 minutes. Then turn the heat off and insert the handle of a wooden spoon or something similar into the rice, all the way down to the bottom, do this a few 4-5 times evenly spread around the pot.
  10. And then, cover the pot with a layer of foil, then the lid and place it in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. (See notes for alternative cooking method)
  11. Lastly, after 30 minutes take out of the oven, let it rest for 15 minutes before fluffing with a fork, garnish with the coriander and s
Notes
  1. Alternatively, Cover the pot with foil, then the lid and cook for 20 minutes over the lowest heat setting on the cooker/stove. Then Proceed with the last step as above in the recipe.
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Please do leave feedback in the comments below if you try the recipe.

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