Akhni pulao

Eid Mubarak!! This year we observed Eid which I will never forget. An eid without friends and relatives, no eid hugs, no wondering. Hope this will be the one and only Eid for my entire life. Not really felt good to make so much eid delicacies. Just made this traditional akhni pulao for my family which I learnt from my mother.

Akhni  is a mixed rice dish with its origins among the Muslims of the Barak Valley of Assam and sylhets regions of Bangladesh. It is often considered to be a particular variation of biryani or polao; hence the terms Akhni Birani and Akhni pulao are also common. It is made by mixing rice with oil,  spices, ghee, meat, chilli  and sour curd. Occasionally, nuts and eggs may also be added. The word ‘akhni’ is derived from the Arabic term, yakhni, which means stew. It is one of the most popular dishes specially cooked during Ramadan or Eid in my native place. (Source: Wikipedia)


  • Preparation time: 90 min
  • Cooking time: 2 hour
  • Difficulty level: medium
  • Serves: 10


  • 2 kg Mutton
  • 2 kg Rice(short grain fragrant rice)
  • 1/2 kg chopped Onions
  • 2 tablespoon Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp Curd
  • 3 tablespoon Curry powder
  • 2 tablespoon homemade garam masala powder
  • 3 chopped Green Chillies
  • 2 small Cinnamon stick
  • 6-7 whole Black peppers
  • 5-6 Cloves
  • 1 1/2 cup Mustard oil
  • 1 tablespoon Ghee


To make garam masala powder, dry roast 10-12 green Cardamom,3-4 small Cinnamon sticks,7-8 Cloves,12 black Peppercorns, 1 teaspoon shahi jeera and 1 small piece of mace. Grind to make powder.

Clean and soak rice with water for an hour. Use rice variety that is small in size and fragrant. We generally use our local variety of rice named kalijeera/joha.

Cut meat in small pieces. Be sure that meet be very good quality with some fats in them. You can use boneless meat, but meat with bones give more flavour to pulao.

Heat 1 cup of mustard oil to a big pressure cooker. Temper with cinnamon, cloves and black peppers.

Add in chopped onions and fry until light golden brown.

Add in ginger-garlic paste and saute for more 2 minutes.

Next add in the mutton and fry for 10 minutes in high heat. Also add in chopped green chillies.

Then add in all the spices like 3 tablespoon of curry powder, 1 tablespoon of prepared garam masala powder and salt. Mix well and fry.

When oil seperates from spices add in yoghurt/curd and mix well.

Add in 2 cups of hot water, stir well and then close the lid and cook for about 20-25 minutes to cook the meat completely.

Meat is ready now.

For the pulao heat 1/2 cup of oil in a big, heavy bottomed vessel and add in drained rice. Fry the rice until translucent.

Add in the cooked meat along with gravy and mix well. Add in salt to taste.

Add in hot water as required to cook the rice.

Give it a boil, stir again and then cover the lid. Cook in medium low heat for about 5 minutes.

Remove the lid, stir gently again and then sprinkle 1 tablespoon of prepared garam masala and 1 tablespoon of ghee. Cover tightly and cook in low heat for about 15-20 minutes.

Delicious and flavourful akhni pulao is ready now to serve.

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