Yakhni pulao is an amazing dish popular in India and Pakistan. Imagine savoring tender, juicy meat combined with fluffy, aromatic rice cooked in yakhni (stock) infused with all delicious flavors. This dish is simple to make, yet it will impress you with its incredible taste. No wonder it graces the tables of special celebrations like Eid and weddings, and it's a Ramadan Iftar favorite.
I’ve discovered yakhni pulao in the beautiful city of Mysore in India. This flavorful yakhni dish was served to me on vibrant banana leaves with a refreshing side of yogurt and cucumber salad. It was an unforgettable experience. Indeed, it packed quite a spicy punch, but I savored every bite!
The yakhni pulao recipe I'm excited to share today has been my family favorite for over five years. I stumbled upon it when the renowned TV personality Zubaida showcased this dish live on a Pakistani channel. It was remarkably similar to the yakhni pulao I fondly remember from my days in India.
Now, I wish to pass on this delectable recipe so you can savor the same wonderful flavors. If you like meat and rice dishes, you might also want to try African Skoudehkaris, Arabian Kabsa, and Yemeni Chicken Mandi recipes.
❤️ WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
Rich and Flavorful Broth: Yakhni pulao is made by simmering meat with aromatic spices, garlic, onion, and herbs. This process infuses the rice with a rich and savory flavor, making every bite a wonderful experience.
Tender Meat: Yakhni pulao is known for its tender, succulent pieces of meat. The slow cooking process in the broth ensures the meat becomes incredibly soft and flavorful.
Fluffy Rice: The rice is cooked to perfection, absorbing the flavors of the broth and spices. It's fluffy, aromatic, and perfectly cooked.
Easy to make: Yakhni pulao is a breeze to prepare. The instructions are clear and straightforward, even for beginners.
Lamb meat with bone: The most delicious part of lamb for making flavorful stock is the leg, which I have used here, but you can use goat meat with bone instead. To remove any smell in the goat meat, wash it with water and then rub it with white vinegar. Set aside 3 to 5 minutes, then wash it with water again.
Ginger, garlic, and onion: We use them in the stock and later when making the rice. Do not skip them since much of the flavor comes from these ingredients.
A blend of spices: The whole spics will go in the stock later. We will discard them later.
Basmati rice: This is the best rice for making yakhni pulao. Brown rice and short-grain rice won't give the same texture or flavor.
Lemon juice: The lemon juice will do two things: it will make the rice fluffy and will add a slight tanginess to the dish.
Green chili: If you're not fond of spicy food, choose the mild green chili, but we have to use it. Besides the heat, green chili adds great flavor to Indian and Pakistani food.
Plain yogurt: It will tender the meat while cooking it with the rice in the last step.
🔪HOW TO MAKE YAKHNI PULAO
Makin the yakhni (meat stock)
In a large pan, add the lamb and all the stock ingredients, including water. Do not add salt at this step to prevent the meat from getting tough.
Cook the meat until tender; it will take around 45 minutes.
Strain the stock, and discard the spices, but keep the stock and meat aside separately.
Making the yakhni pulao
Brown the onion using ghee and keep it aside.
In a large pan, add oil and the cooked meat. Fry the meat until you see light brown patches. Add the garlic, ginger, and green chili and mix.
To the previous mixture, add ¾ of the fried onion and mix for a minute. Add the yogurt and stir.
Pour three cups from the stock. If the stock is less than three cups, you can compensate with water.
When the mixture boils, pour the lemon juice and stir. Add the strained rice and stir for a few seconds. Season with salt, and when it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to the lowest and tightly cover with a lid.
After 17 minutes, uncover the rice and fluff it with a fork. Turn off the heat and cover for 15 minutes for the flavors to come together perfectly. When serving, sprinkle the saved fried onion on the pulao.
Bone in meat. Don't go for boneless cuts of meat; you won't have much flavor in the yakhni.
Cooking time. Lamb meat takes less time to cook, unlike beef. Check on the meat after 45 minutes of cooking.
Cook the recipe as is. If you are making this recipe for the first time, stick with the amount of spices mentioned in the recipe card. Later on, you can decide on adding more of any of the spices or ingredients.
The rice. Wash the rice and then soak it for 20 minutes. Most basmati rice needs soaking to cook evenly, or you will end with some cooked and some undercooked grains of rice.
🍽️HOW TO SERVE
Yakhni pulao is mostly served with yogurt salad or with Indian achar. Green salad with onion is also a great companion to this dish.
Fridge: Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Make sure it has cooled down before refrigerating.
Reheating: When ready to enjoy your pulao, reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat. Or simply microwave it.
Freezing: You can freeze the pulao for up to 2 months.
📣MORE INDIAN RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
⭐PLEASE RATE AND REVIEW
If you have tried this recipe and liked it, please give it a 5-star rating and leave a comment below with your experience!
FOR THE STOCK
- 500 grams Lamb meat with bones
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 15 cloves garlic
- 1 medium onion cut in half
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 ½ teaspoon black pepper corns
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tablespoon coriander seeds
- 4 green cardamom, whole
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 9 cups water ,room tempreature
FOR THE PULAO
- 1 ½ cup basmati rice , washed and then soaked for 20 min
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 4 green cardamom, whole
- 2 tablespoon yogurt
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 4 green chili
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- 2 tablespoon oil
HOW TO MAKE THE STOCK
- In a large pan, add the lamb meat and all the ingredients for making the stock (except the salt).
- Turn on the heat to high and let the mixture boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for 45 minutes.
- Add the salt to the stock and continue cooking for 15 more minutes.
- When the meat is tender, remove the meat from the stock and keep it aside. Strain the stock using a sieve. Keep the stock and discard the spices.
MAKING THE PULAO
- In a pan, add two tablespoons of ghee and fry the onion until light brown. Remove the onion and keep it aside.
- In a large pan, add the oil, then add the cooked meat. Fry the meat until you see light brown patches.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and green chili. Mix the mixture for a minute on medium heat.
- To the previous mixture, add ¾ of the fried onion and mix for a minute. Add the yogurt and stir for another minute.
- Pour three cups from the stock you prepared earlier. If the stock is less than three cups, you can compensate with water since all the flavor is concentrated in the stock, even if it is a cup.
- When it comes to a boil, pour the lemon juice and stir. Add the strained rice and stir for a few seconds. Season with salt and when it comes to a boil reduce the heat to the lowest and tightly cover with a lid.
- After 17 minutes, uncover the rice and fluff it with a fork. Turn off the heat and cover for 15 minutes for the flavors to come together perfectly.
- When serving, sprinkle the saved fried onion on the pulao.