As far as my knowledge goes Yakhni Pulao is a traditional Kashmiri dish. Other than the fact that may be many generations ago my family may have had Kashimiri lineage, I have nothing common with that state or the cuisine. My early remembrance of eating anything Kashmiri was when I visited my sis in her college days and she had taken me to a restaurant. I was I think in sixth grade and to this day I can remember the sweet rice loaded with raisins which was absolutely nauseating! Then came my dear friend in college, hailing from Kashmir she talked so fondly of shalgam ka achar. (Turnip pickle). Now I am a die had fan of pickles and I can make a meal out of them. However this was again revolting to my palate. At that point I decided there was not much to dwell on in Kashmiri cuisine and the cold weather may have just made their taste buds blunt! What can I say I thought in my short span of years on earth I knew it all. 😦
Fast forward few years, add some of cooking experience and a situation where I had to cook different stuff everyday to keep both my and my hubby’s palate engaged. A Shalimar spice packet and an enthusiast neighbor who advocated that packet I set out to try Yakhni Pulao. First trial was a disaster. Not taste wise but texture wise. I lived, I learnt, I put my internet skills to good use, I looked at few recipes and inherited the goodness from them all! Voila, now not only can I make perfect yakhni pulao, I am so intrigued by Kashmiri cuisine which so intricately marries the spices.
Disclaimer: I don’t think this is the authentic way of making this dish.
What you need
1 pound mutton pieces (cut in to about 1 inch pieces)
1 1/2 cups Basmati rice
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1 small onion chopped lengthwise
1 tablespoon fennel powder
1/2 tablespoon dry ginger powder
6-7 black peppercorns
2 inch stick cinnamon
1 Bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon green cardamom powder
3 tablespoon ghee / oil
1 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds (shahi jeera)
5 Green chilies cut length wise
3 cups chicken stock
½ cup Yogurt
10 – 15 mint leaves
How to make
Mix mutton with ginger garlic paste, salt, fennel powder, dry ginger powder, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, bay leaves and green cardamom powder.
Leave to marinate for about half an hour.
Heat ghee in a deep pan over medium heat.
Add caraway seeds sauté for a few seconds.
Add onions and sauté for couple of minutes
Add the marinated mutton and sauté for two to three minutes.
Add whole green chilies.
Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Cover and cook on medium heat till mutton is almost cooked, stirring in between.
Alternatively, you can cook in pressure cooker for 3 whistles on medium high heat.
In another thick bottomed vessel (or pressure cooker), whisk yogurt till smooth.
Separate the cooked mutton pieces from stalk.
Add to yogurt the mutton pieces one by one stirring all the time so that yogurt doesn’t curdle.
Mix in 2.5 cups of the stalk mutton was cooked in.
Wash and drain rice and mix well in to the mixture.
Cook on high heat.
When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook covered till both mutton and rice are done.
Garish with chopped mint leaves
Yakhni Pulao / Fennel and Ginger spiced Mutton Rice
December 18, 2007 by roops