Kashmiri Phool Yakhni Recipe, A True Celebration Of Cauliflower
Image Credit: Image used for representative purpose only. Image courtesy: Facebook/Tassiya Hamid

If you love Kashmiri flavours then you are no stranger to Yakhni, that curd-based signature dish included in Wazwan meals. And if you have eaten Yakhni in its pulao or mutton form before, then trying this Kashmiri Phool Yakhni made of cauliflowers is a must have. The Phool in the recipe’s name refers to the Indian name by which cauliflowers are well known. The dish, as it goes with all Yakhnis, is a true celebration of the meatiness that cauliflowers naturally scream of. At the same time, this Cauliflower Yakhni recipe is also a great vegetarian option for those who want to savour the taste of Kashmiri cuisine.  

For those who don’t know, Cauliflower Yakhni traces its origins back to the Persian Empire, where cookbooks have described versions of the dish for centuries. However, the dish was almost always prepared with meat. The Middle Eastern vegetarian version of Yakhni features chickpeas, but not cauliflowers—which is definitely more of an Indian Kashmiri innovation. Modern Kashmiri cuisine, which can be traced back to the fifteenth century when Timur invaded the nation and led to the immigration of cooks from Samarkand to Kashmir. Legend has it that Cauliflower Yakhni, which maintains the integrity of Kashmiri Yakhni spices while creating a delicious vegetarian dish, was innovated by these Kashmiri cooks as an offering that can be enjoyed by the Hindu vegetarian Kashmiri community. 

Video courtesy: YouTube/Kashmiri Zaika

To make this Kashmiri Cauliflower Yakhni, you need a fresh and large cauliflower head. You need to trim off the greens and cut the cauliflower into florets. Yakhni always involves the cooking of the meat, or in this case, cauliflower in water—so that’s a step you absolutely need to follow. Many people colour the cauliflower at this stage with saffron strands, which adds another layer of complex flavours. You can skip this and use turmeric powder instead, but we recommend the use of saffron to maintain the authenticity of this Cauliflower Yakhni. The curd-based sauce is only mildly spiced and the use of green chillies is usually avoided in the dish. Here’s the easy-peasy recipe for you to try out for dinner tonight. 

Image used for representative purpose only. Image courtesy: Facebook/Pamma's Kitchen


1 large cauliflower head, broken into florets 

1 onion, chopped 

½ tsp saffron strands 

5 green cardamoms 

2 black cardamoms 

1 cinnamon stick 

1 tsp ginger paste 

2 tsp turmeric powder 

1.5 tsp fennel powder 

1 tbsp garlic, minced 

1 tbsp dry mint 

1 tbsp rice flour 

Salt, to taste 

3 cups curd 

3 tbsp ghee 


1. Boil some water in a pot with salt and saffron and add the cauliflower florets. 

2. Boil the florets for two to three minutes. Drain and set aside until needed. 

3. Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan, then add the onions. 

4. Fry the onions until they turn golden brown. 

5. Remove the fried onions into a mortar pestle or grinder and crush into a fine powder. 

6. Heat the remaining ghee in the pan and add the green cardamoms, black cardamoms, cinnamon stick, ginger and garlic. 

7. Now add the curd and continue stirring until the curd starts boiling. 

8. Make sure you do this at a low flame to ensure the curd doesn’t curdle or split. 

9. Cook the curd for about 10 minutes, then add the turmeric powder, fennel powder and rice flour. 

10. Mix well, stir around for 5 more minutes, then add the cauliflower. 

11. Add some water in case the sauce is too thick, adjust the salt and cover to cook the cauliflower until done. 

12. Now add the fried onion powder and mint and cook for another two minutes. 

13. Serve the Cauliflower Yakhni for another few minutes, then serve hot with rice or bread.