Your Dinner Special Yakhni Pulao That Was First Made In Medieval Persia
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Yakhni, also known as yahni or yahniya, is a type of dish that is prepared all over the world, from South Asia to the Balkans. Yakhni was first prepared in Medieval Persia as a beef stew. It got its name from the covered clay pot in which it was first prepared. The Persian word Yakhni literally means "store of food" Later, several variants of this dish moved eastwards to Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and South Asia, as well as westwards to the Ottoman Empire, reaching the Levant and the Balkans. Chef Surender Mohan, a corporate chef from The Leela Palace Hotels And Resorts adds that "Yakhni is derived from 'Akhin,' which means broth or shorba which is made with boneless mutton and a lot of water and spices. The result is a thin mutton stock made with yoghurt. There is no tomato or turmeric in it. Yakhni has a pale yellow colour that is linked to dahi and saffron. Yakhni is a Persian dish that was brought to India during the Muslim invasion. The earliest reported theory, however, was discovered in Ain-I – Akbar (autobiography of Akbar). It was made of sheep flesh in the historical recipe of Yakhni during the reign of Emperor Akbar. Yakhni Pulao is said to have originated in Persia and was brought to India by the Mughal emperors. Yakhni is a mutton broth made with yoghurt and saffron. Mutton and aromatics (whole garam masala) are used to make the broth/stock, which is tied in a bouquet garni. In India, yakhni is an important part of  Kashmiri cuisine. Yakhni pulao can be made with chicken or mutton depending upon the preference.


Here's how you can make Mutton Yakhni Pulao at home-


  1. 1 kg mutton 
  2. Coriander seeds
  3. 9-10 onions, chopped
  4. 2 pieces ginger
  5. 10-12 Garlic cloves
  6. 4 Bay leaves
  7. 9-10 Green cardamoms
  8. 4-5 Cinnamon sticks
  9. 9-10 Cloves
  10. 3-4 tbsp oil
  11. 2 tbsp ground ginger 
  12. 4 tbsp ground garlic 
  13. 1 nutmeg, grated
  14. 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  15. 2 cups basmati rice
  16. 1 cup yoghurt
  17. 4 cups mutton stock
  18. kewra water
  19. mint leaves
  20. salt to taste


  1. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes.
  2. Make a bouquet gurney with cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, black cardamom, and bay leaves. (tie the ingredients in a small white cloth)
  3. In a pressure cooker, heat 2 tablespoons of oil.
  4. Add the cumin seeds to the heated oil.
  5. In a pressure cooker, add the meat, ginger, whole garlic bulb, salt, 4 cups mutton stock and the bouquet gurney.
  6. Pressure cook until the meat is done (about 1 whistle on high heat, then reduce to low heat and cook for 10 minutes). Once the pressure has been released, open the cooker.
  7. Check the meat for rawness and add more time if necessary.
  8. Allow the mixture to cool for a while.
  9. Squeeze the Bouquet gurney and garlic bulb to get the most flavour out of them.
  10. Using a strainer, drain the meat and set aside the yakhni ( stock ).
  11. Thinly slice the onions and fry till golden brown.
  12. Heat the ghee should in a big, thick-bottomed pan.
  13. Add the meat, yoghurt, garam masala, and a little more than half of the fried onion and cook for around 4-5 minutes.
  14. Add the rice to the pan after straining it, put in the Yakhni and toss it.
  15. Cover the pan tightly with the lid and add the kewra essence and salt.
  16. Seal the edges with some dough ( optional ).
  17. Simmer the heat to low and cook the rice till it is nicely done.
  18. Gently fluff the Yakhni Pulao using a fork.
  19. Garnish it with golden fried onions and mint leaves
  20. Serve hot with raita.


For Chicken Yakhni pulao, follow the same steps, use chicken instead of mutton.