Enjoy a hot bowl of ultra-soothing yakhni soup. Bone-in mutton, beef, or chicken cooks with aromatics and spices to create a wonderfully warm and healthy broth to sip on and enjoy.
What is Yakhni?
In Hindi and Urdu, ‘yakhni’ means stock or broth. It is a flavorful broth that comes from simmering bones with a bit of meat in a pressure cooker or stockpot for an extended period. Enjoy the fragrant broth as it is, or use it as a base for popular meals like mutton yakhni pulao and chicken yakhni pulao.
What You Need to Make this Recipe
- Ghee: Ghee is a staple in Indian and Pakistani cuisine and develops a deep, nutty base for the dish.
- Onion: Use 1-2 white or yellow onions for this recipe.
- Garlic: I suggest using four garlic cloves, but measure with your heart.
- Ginger: Ginger cooks in the broth, but you can also use fresh ginger as a garnish for the soup.
- Green Chili: Add heat by using whole green chilies.
- Cinnamon Stick: Impart aromatics with a cinnamon stick, and I don’t recommend replacing the cinnamon stick with ground cinnamon since that will alter the taste of the broth.
- Mutton: The purpose of yakhni is to consume the nutrients from bone-in meat; this recipe uses goat, but you can also make it with beef, lamb, or chicken.
- Whole Spices: Prepare homemade yakhni masala with fresh, whole spices like black cardamon, green cardamon, black cloves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, star anise, and bay leaves.
- Salt: Taste and season the bone broth with salt.
How to Make Yakhni
The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Add the whole spices for the masala to a spice ball and set it aside.
Step 2: Warm ghee in an Instant Pot on saute mode. Add the onions and cook until they soften and become translucent.
Stir in the crushed garlic cloves, ginger, green chilies, and cinnamon stick; cook for another minute.
Step 3: Rinse the goat meat and bones, then add them to the pot. Cook on saute mode for 1-2 minutes.
Step 4: Cover the meat with water, add salt, and stir to combine.
Nestle the reserved spice ball into the Instant Pot, secure the lid, and cook on manual high pressure for 40 minutes with a 10-minute natural release.
You will have tender goat pieces after making the soup. I reserve the meat and broth separately to make a favorite of our family – a dish called yakhni pulao. If you choose to go that route, be sure to set aside 1 ½ cup of the yakhni broth along with the meat.
- Garnish: Cilantro, Green Chiles, Onion Slices, Lemon Wedges, Ginger
- Bread: Chapati, Naan, Roti
What to do With the Leftovers
- Refrigerate – If you have a thick layer of solidified fat on top of the cooled soup, refrigerate the bone broth for up to 2 weeks. If not, it will keep for 3-4 days.
- Freeze – Let the soup cool, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag. It will freeze for 6 months.
- Thaw – Defrost the broth in the refrigerator overnight.
- Reheat – Warm the leftovers on the stovetop or microwave, prepare your fresh toppings, and enjoy.
- Repurpose – Add a few pieces of mutton to the yakhni and eat it as a soup, or reserve some of the broth and add it to long-grained basmati rice to make mutton yakhni pulao. You can also use it as a base for other soups and stews.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of yakhni?
Mutton and whole spices simmer to create the broth, leaving a tasty and mineral-dense soup for you to enjoy. One of the main ingredients of yakhni is the bones the broth cooks in. Bones contain collagen, an essential protein that aids in hair and nail health and joint wellness.
I was pregnant when my mother-in-law first suggested making me the soup. By this point, I had been hospitalized twice due to sickness and dehydration – I couldn’t keep down food, and everything made me nauseous. Finally, I let her make it for me, and I am forever grateful!
The soup became a regular meal throughout my pregnancy, and lucky for me, my mother-in-law would make it in large batches and freeze it when she would visit. To this day, there are few things more comforting than a soothing bowl of yakhni soup.
Can I make this recipe on the stovetop?
1. Add the whole spices for the masala to a spice ball and set it aside.
2. Warm the ghee in a stockpot or Dutch oven. Add onion and fry until the onions become soft and translucent.
3. Stir in the crushed garlic cloves, ginger, green chilies, and cinnamon stick; cook for another minute.
4. Rinse the goat meat and bones, then add them to the pot; fry for 1-2 minutes. Cover the meat with water, add salt, and stir to combine.
5. Nestle the reserved spice ball into the pot, cover, and cook over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil.
6. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 hours with the lid slightly ajar.
7. Remove the lid and move the goat and leftover bones to an airtight container. Then, pour the broth through a large mesh strainer into a mixing bowl to remove impurities.
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1-2 medium onions, quartered
- 6 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
- 2 – inch fresh ginger, julienne, plus more for garnish
- 2-3 green chilies
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 1 pound goat, bone- in, washed and cut into pieces
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 lemon, for garnish
- 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped, for garnish
- Add the whole spices for the masala to a spice ball and set it aside.
- Warm ghee in an Instant Pot on saute mode. Add the onions and cook until they soften and become translucent.
- Stir in the crushed garlic cloves, ginger, green chilies, and cinnamon stick; cook for another minute.
- Rinse the goat meat and bones, then add them to the pot. Cook on saute mode for 1-2 minutes.
- Cover the meat with water, add salt, and stir to combine.
- Nestle the reserved spice ball into the Instant Pot, secure the lid, and cook on manual high pressure for 40 minutes with a 10-minute natural release.
- Ladle the bone broth into a bowl or mug and garnish with fresh ginger, chopped cilantro, and lemon slices.
- The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.