Ramadan 2023: Yakhni Chicken Casserole Recipe For Iftaar Feasts
Image Credit: Anonymous

With the holy month of Ramzan comes in the many delicious treats that everyone typically enjoys during the break of the fast in the evening; also known as iftaari. What commences as a ritual of sharing various plates of food after a long day of fasting typically includes plenty of fresh fruits, dry fruits, milk sweets, deep-fried savouries and festive specialties like mawa malpua and phirni. Amongst the usual suspects, kitchens around the country get creative about putting out the most elaborate dishes that are comforting and can be enjoyed family-style; just like this creamy and packed-with-flavour yakhni chicken casserole.

As the name suggests, the Kashmiri yakhni is traditionally a flavoursome broth made with aromatics and meat combined with rich spices like saffron and flavouring agents like yoghurt. The usually mild-flavoured yakhni broth is then used to cook rice and make the delicious yakhni pulao, which has garnered admirers around the world for its layered savouriness and depth of flavour. The chicken casserole combines the best of both, yakhni and casserole worlds, which makes for the perfect, warm iftaari meal to mark the end of a long fasting day with.


Image Credits: The Cookful


Also Read: 

Alle Hatche Yakhni; The Flavourful Kashmiri Bottle Gourd Dish

  • 500 grams chicken
  • 2 tablespoons orzo
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 6-7 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 mace
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
  • 1 pinch saffron strands
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • ½ cup cheese
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • Salt to taste


  • Wash and clean the chicken thoroughly and add it to a sauce pan. In a clean muslin cloth, add the diced onion, whole garlic and whole spices and make it into a small bundle.
  • Add the aromatic bundle to the saucepan and pour in a cup of water and simmer on a low flame, with a lid on, until the chicken has cooked through but still tender.
  • Remove the chicken and discard the aromatics bundle. Use two forks to shred the chicken pieces into thin strips and add to a baking dish. Save any remaining broth from the pan by pouring into a cup and setting aside.
  • Mix together the sour cream, Greek yoghurt, paprika, chopped garlic and spring onions. Pour over the shredded chicken and combine thoroughly. Add the uncooked orzo and pour over 3-4 tablespoons of the broth on top.
  • Bake this mixture in a hot oven for 15-17 minutes at 180 degrees, until the orzo is cooked through and the broth has been absorbed. Sprinkle plenty of cheese on top and broil for 2 minutes, until the cheese is a bubbling golden-brown colour.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley, more spring onions and a pinch of paprika. Serve hot with fresh pita bread on the side.