Lamb akhni

6 servings Prep: 30 mins, Cooking: 1 hr 30 mins
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Discover the timeless tradition of lamb akhni, a cherished and very traditional meal that brings generations together with its aromatic spices, tender lamb, and rich flavours.

By Independent Contributor September 29 2023
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Ingredients (24)

2 tbsp oil
1.5 kg lamb — shoulder, ribs or stewing lamb
1 tsp salt
2 medium onions — chopped
6 cinnamon sticks
6 cardamom pods
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 cup water
1 1/2 cup basmati rice
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp salt
1 tsp leaf masala
4 whole cloves
2 tbsp fresh ginger — grated
4 garlic cloves — peeled and finely chopped
1 star anise
1 small Chilli
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp cumin seeds
10 curry leaves
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 large tomato — chopped
1 tsp sugar
1 cup fresh coriander
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Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Place the meat in the   saucepan, season with the salt and scatter the onions over the meat. Add 4 pieces of cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and fennel seeds to the meat. Cook uncovered until all the liquid has dispersed, and the meat starts to brown. Add the water and cover. Cook over medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes.

While the meat is cooking, prepare the rice. Add the rice to boiling water with the turmeric, salt and the remaining cinnamon sticks. Cook for 7 minutes. Drain and steam for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Add the leaf masala, cloves, ginger, garlic, star anise, chili, garam masala, cumin, curry leaves, tomato sauce, tomato and sugar and stir to blend with the meat mixture.

Reduce the heat, cook until the meat is tender and juicy. Add a little water if the mixture is dry. Mix in the rice by mixing only once and gently. Add fresh coriander and steam over low heat for 15 minutes.

Serve with buttered new potatoes, a tomato and mint sambal and roti.

Beef and Lamb SA is the consumer education project of the Red Meat Industry Services (RMIS).

Recipe inspired by Natalie Anderson Visagie. Story behind the dish “….Lamb Akni was a treat in our family. Growing up we use to look forward to my mom getting paid as we will have her special Lamb Akni the Sunday after payday for lunch. Today as an adult my boys adores lamb curry with a nice roti as a treat and my hubby Lamb Akni the recipe I inherited from my mom”

Recipe standardised by Prof Gerrie Du Rand. Styling by Caro Albers. Photography by Michelle Parkin.

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