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Yakhni Pulao

Yakhni Pulao Try our mutton yakhni pulao by preparing a smooth and warm yakhni, then move on to cooking the rice. We layer this mouthwatering Indian comfort meal with yakhni-infused basmati rice, fork-tender mutton, crispy fried onions, and warm-Indian spices for a dish that’s ideal for get-togethers and family gatherings. Plus, you’re house will smell amazing as it cooks!

WHAT IS YAKHNI PULAO?

The greatest thing about yakhni pulao is that it essentially creates two meals out of one. The pulao itself is easy to make, but you spend the majority of the time making yakhni soup for the rice to cook. Homemade yakhni is the essence of our authentic yakhni pulao recipe. While the soup flavors the rice, you can also eat a soothing bowl of yakhni as a meal or serve it as a side.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Whole Spices: Season the yakhni soup with black cardamom, green cardamom, black cloves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, star anise, and bay leaves.
  • Ghee: Ghee is a staple in Indian and Pakistani cuisine and develops a deep, nutty base that sets the stage for the dish.
  • Onion: Onions enrich the broth and serve as a garnish for the pulao.
  • Garlic and Ginger: Fresh garlic and ginger deepen the flavor of the broth and the pulao.
  • Green Chilis: For heat that doesn’t overwhelm, subtly add warmth using slit green chilis.
  • Cinnamon Stick: Create tasty and aromatic rice using a cinnamon stick.
  • Mutton (Goat): I use mutton to make yakhni pulao because I prefer the flavor, but you can also make pulao with chicken or lamb.
  • Salt: Use salt as a lever to perfectly season the rice.
  • Basmati Rice: The key to making good rice begins with soaking it in water beforehand; the longer, the better! Soaking results in the long, distinct grains of basmati rice you’ve come to expect. 

HOW TO MAKE MUTTON YAKHNI PULAO

Prepare yakhni.

Drain the goat meat in a colander over a large mixing bowl to preserve the broth. Then, reserve 1½ cups of the broth and store the rest. Set the goat meat aside.

Warm ghee in a Dutch Oven over low-medium heat, and add onions. Cook until they are golden brown and crispy, for about 20-25 minutes.

While the onions are cooking, wash the basmati rice until the water runs clear. Then, add the rice to a bowl and cover it with water to soak it for at least 30 minutes.

I cook basmati rice separately to mix with the other ingredients; soak the rice before using it.

Remove the onions from the pan with a slotted spoon, and set them aside to drain. In the same pot, saute cumin seeds and green chilies until they begin sputtering. Add one teaspoon of ghee if needed.

Stir in the ginger and garlic, and cook for 1-2 minutes until the raw smell fades.

Drain the soaking water and add the rice to the Dutch oven with the reserved yakhni soup.

Add a layer of mutton and rice to a serving dish and top with the crispy onion. Layer the rice over the top, followed by more onion. Repeat until the ingredients are gone, and garnish with cilantro to serve.

COOKING TIPS

  • Start with fresh, whole spices; this makes all the difference since spices will lose their flavor over time.
  • Bone-in meat is necessary to make yakhni soup. You can use store-bought bone broth if you’re in a pinch, but I don’t recommend it since those use different spices and vegetables than our homemade version.

SEARCHING FOR MORE LIKE THIS? 

If you love this recipe, try one of our other Indian-inspired meals!  

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE IN THE INSTANT POT

  1. Drain the goat meat in a colander over a large mixing bowl to preserve the broth. Then, reserve 1½ cups of the broth and store the rest.
  2. Warm the ghee in an Instant Pot in saute mode. Add the onions and cook until they are golden brown and crispy, for about 20 minutes.
  3. While the onions are cooking, wash the basmati rice until the water runs clear. Then, add the rice to a bowl and cover it with water to soak it for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the onions from the pan with a slotted spoon, and set them aside to drain. In the same pot, saute cumin seeds and green chilies until they begin sputtering. Add one teaspoon of ghee if needed.
  5. Stir in the ginger and garlic, and cook for another couple of minutes until the raw smell fades.
  6. Drain the soaking water and add the rice to the Instant Pot with the reserved yakhni soup.
  7. Bring the Instant Pot to a boil in saute mode. Then, secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 7 minutes.
  8. Unplug and stir in the reserved mutton. Stir to combine. Cover with the lid (but do not secure it) and leave it to steam for 10 minutes.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS 

WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVERS 

  • FRIDGE – Store leftovers in an airtight container; it will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days.
  • FREEZER – Allow the dish to cool. Then, add it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Yakhni pulao freezes for up to two months. When you’re ready to eat, defrost it in the fridge overnight.
  • REHEAT – Warm a single serving in the microwave, or add it all to a saute pan for a quick and easy meal the whole family will enjoy.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

What is yakhni pulao made of?

Yakhni pulao combines an Indian-spiced homemade yakhni soup that flavors the meat and rice to create the base for the dish. Fried onions, garlic, and additional spices impart even more flavor for a traditional meal you and your family will love. 

What is the difference between yakhni pulao and biryani?

Both the flavor and the preparation of the two dishes are different. While it’s not as bright and colorful as other rice dishes like biryani, don’t let the beige appearance fool you- pulao is aromatic and tasty!

What is the rice to broth ratio?

Knowing the ratio of rice and liquid will help you scale the recipe to make more or less, depending on who you’re preparing the dish for; I find that one cup of rice to 1½ cups of broth works best to make this recipe.

What should I do with the leftover yakhni?

Eat it as a soup or use the bone broth as a base for other soups and stews.

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A serving bowl of yakhni pulao.

Yakhni Pulao

Tressa Jamil
Combine yakhni-infused basmati rice, fork-tender mutton, crispy fried onions, and warm-Indian spices to make our authentic yakhni pulao recipe.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 273 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Mutton Yakhni:

  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 2 -inch fresh ginger, crushed into a paste
  • 2-3 Thai green chilies, slit lengthwise
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken down
  • 1 pound goat, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces, plus extra bones if you have them
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 4 black cardamom, lightly crushed
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 6 black cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 bay leaves

For the Mutton Yakhni Pulao:

  • ¼ cup ghee
  • 2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 Thai green chilies, slit lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 cup basmati rice, washed and soaked
  • cup yakhni soup, reserved from the mutton yakhni soup
  • 1 pound goat meat, reserved from the mutton yakhni soup

Instructions
 

For the Mutton Yakhni:

  • Warm ghee In the Instant Pot on saute mode. Add onion and cook until the onions become soft and translucent.
  • While onions are cooking, add the whole spices to a spice ball. Set aside. Add the garlic, ginger paste, green chilies, and cinnamon stick to the Instant Pot. Cook for another minute.
  • Next, rinse the goat meat and bones, and add them to the pot. Saute on saute mode for 1 minute. Then, add water and salt; stir to combine.
  • Lastly, add the spice ball to the Instant Pot. Secure the lid, and cook on manual high pressure for 40 minutes with a 10-minute natural release.

For the Yakhni Pulao:

  • Drain the goat meat in a colander over a large mixing bowl to preserve the broth. Then, reserve 1½ cups of the broth and store the rest. Set the goat meat aside.
  • Warm ghee in a Dutch Oven over low-medium heat, and add onions. Cook until they are golden brown and crispy, for about 20-25 minutes.
  • While the onions are cooking, wash the basmati rice until the water runs clear. Then, add the rice to a bowl and cover it with water to soak it for at least 30 minutes.
  • Remove the onions from the pan with a slotted spoon, and set them aside to drain. In the same pot, saute cumin seeds and green chilies until they begin sputtering. Add one teaspoon of ghee if needed.
  • Stir in the ginger and garlic, and cook for 1-2 minutes until the raw smell fades.
  • Drain the soaking water and add the rice to the Dutch oven with the reserved yakhni soup.
  • Bring the pot to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove the rice from the heat and the reserved mutton. Stir to combine. Cover with the lid and set it aside to steam for 10 minutes.
  • Add a layer of mutton and rice to a serving dish and top with the crispy onion. Layer the rice over the top, followed by more onion. Repeat until the ingredients are gone, and garnish with cilantro to serve.

Notes

Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 ServingCalories: 273kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 12gFat: 13gSodium: 331mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2g
Keyword yakhni pulao
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