Lavish History Of Yakhni Pulao, Mughlai Rice Dish
Image Credit: yakhni pulao/

The Mughal dynasty, which ruled over India from the 16th to the 19th century, is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and contributions to Indian cuisine. One of the many culinary legacies left behind by the Mughals is their love for pulaos, which are rice dishes that are flavoured with spices and mixed with meat, vegetables, or both. The Mughal emperors were known for their lavish feasts, and pulaos were often a part of their menu. They enjoyed experimenting with different ingredients and spices, and pulaos were a perfect canvas for their culinary creativity.

Yakhni pulao is a traditional dish that is popular in the Kashmiri cuisine of India and Pakistan. It is a flavorful rice dish that is made with a combination of spices and a broth made from meat, typically lamb or chicken. The dish has a long and interesting history that is tied to the cultural and culinary traditions of the region. The origins of yakhni pulao can be traced back to the Mughal era, which spanned from the 16th to the 19th century. The Mughals were known for their love of rich and flavorful foods, and they brought many of their culinary traditions with them when they conquered India. It is believed that yakhni pulao was originally created as a dish for the Mughal nobility, and it quickly became popular among the people of Kashmir as well. The word "yakhni" comes from the Persian language and means "broth." In the Kashmiri version of yakhni pulao, the broth is made by simmering meat with a variety of aromatic spices such as fennel, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. The meat used in the dish is typically lamb or chicken, and it is simmered for several hours until the broth is rich and flavorful. Despite these variations, yakhni pulao remains a popular dish in Kashmiri cuisine and is often served on special occasions such as weddings and festivals. The dish is also enjoyed by people all over the world, and it has become a staple in many Indian and Pakistani restaurants.

The irresistible taste of Yakhni Pulao

One of the key factors that makes yakhni pulao irresistible is the broth in which the rice is cooked. The broth is made by simmering meat with a variety of spices for several hours, which allows the flavours to meld together and create a rich, flavorful base for the dish. The meat used in the dish is typically tender and succulent, and it adds a depth of flavour to the broth that is hard to replicate. In addition to the flavorful broth, yakhni pulao also features a variety of aromatic spices that add complexity and depth to the dish. Some of the most common spices used in yakhni pulao include fennel, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, which all work together to create a delicious and aromatic flavour profile.

yakhni pulao/

The caramelized onions that are often added to yakhni pulao add a depth of flavour and sweetness that is hard to resist. The onions are cooked until they are soft and caramelized, which brings out their natural sweetness and adds a delicious flavour to the dish. Overall, the combination of tender meat, fragrant spices, flavorful broth, and caramelized onions all work together to create a dish that is truly irresistible. Yakhni pulao is a dish that is loved by many people for its rich taste and aroma, and it is often served on special occasions as a way to celebrate and enjoy the flavours of Kashmiri cuisine.


  • 1 kg meat (chicken or lamb), cut into pieces
  • 3 cups basmati rice, washed and soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • 2-3 green cardamom pods
  • 2-3 black cardamom pods
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 6-7 cups water


  • In a large pot, heat the oil and add the sliced onions. Fry until they turn golden brown.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a minute.
  • Add the meat pieces and fry until they are browned on all sides.
  • Add the whole spices (cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds) and fry for a minute.
  • Add salt, black pepper, and water to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and let it simmer for 45 minutes to an hour until the meat is tender.
  • Remove the meat from the pot and strain the yakhni (broth) through a sieve to remove the whole spices and any impurities.
  • Measure the yakhni and add water if needed to make 6 cups. Return the yakhni to the pot and bring it to a boil.
  • Add the soaked rice to the pot and stir gently.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and let it cook until the rice is tender and the yakhni has been absorbed for about 20-25 minutes.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork and serve hot with the cooked meat on top.