The origin of YAKHNI PULAO lie apparently in Persia and it was introduced to us Indians by the Mughal rulers. Yakhni is also an integral part of the kashmiri cuisine in India. Yakhni is the kashmiri name for mutton stock or broth, it is prepared by draining the broth after cooking mutton with whole spices, ginger and garlic.Then the long grained rice is cooked in the yakhni along with cooked pieces of mutton. Yogurt is then added to the stock. It has no turmeric, no tomatoes and no green chillies. This Pulao is supremely aromatic and its exquisite usage of elegant spices makes it a very sophisticated dish.
Aromatic spices included are fennel seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon , cardamom , ginger ,garlic and yogurt are responsible for the unique taste. Pulaos are fairly staple with majority of Indians. You can follow this recipe to create an amazing Yakhni Pulao, Garnish it with fried onions and cashews and have it with nice raita.
Mutton – 500gms
Fried onions – 1 cup
Basmati rice – 1 cup (soak for 30mnts)
Fried cashews – 8 to 10
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Garlic – 6 cloves
Fennel seeds – 2tsp
Coriander seeds – 2tsp
Cumin seeds – 1tsp
Cinnamon – 2 inch piece
Black peppercorns – 8 for yakhni n 6 for pulao
Green cardamom – 4
Black cardamom – 1
Bay leaf – 2
whisked curd – half cup
Garam masala – 1tsp
Ghee – 2tbsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1tbsp
Fresh mint leaves for garnish
1) Prepare the Yakhni in a large pot, add goat meat and three glasses of water. Wrap up the spices in a muslin cloth – fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, piece of ginger, cloves of garlic, cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, green cardamoms, black cardamom. Tie it up and put it in the boiling pot along with the mutton. Cut the onion into four piece and add to the pot, also add salt to it. Cook till the mutton is tender.
2) Drain the stock. Discard the onion we added to it and also the bag of spices. Set the meat aside. You should have app 4 to 5 cups of stock.
3) In a heavy bottom pan or kadhai add 2tbsp of ghee, let it heat up. Add cumin, bay leaf, black peppercorns. Add fried onions, ginger garlic paste and quickly add the whisked curd and give it a good mix and immediately add 3.5 cups of yakhni to it. Let the curd and yakhni cook together by bringing it to boil. keep stirring. Add garam masala and salt to it.
4) Now add the soaked basmati rice and precooked mutton pieces to it. Allow the rice to cook with covered lid for about 20 minutes on low flame. Please don’t open the lid during the steaming process, you will lose all the steam and end up with an undercooked, almost raw grain.
5) Turn off the stove and allow the rice to settle and rest for 15 minutes.
6) Garnish with fried onions, fried cashews and fresh mint leaves. Serve hot with raita.
PS – The salt is added twice – one while making yakhni and secondly while making pulao. So please be careful while adding salt. If you like a spicy pulao you can add green chillies or green chilli paste to it. Usually green chilli is not used in this recipe. Black peppercorns and cumin are also added twice, once while making yakhni and secondly while making pulao for making it more flavorful and aromatic. Same way the ginger garlic is also used twice.