Yakhni pulao refers to slow-cooked meat based rice that is cooked in the stock of the meat which is called as Yakhni. It's a Mughal delicacy believed to have its origin in Persia. It is popular in India as belonging to the Awadhi cuisine. In the vegetarian version, the meat is replaced with any number of vegetables.
For the Vegetable Stock
- 80 grams Cauliflower Florets (chopped into small pieces)
- 30 grams French Beans (stringed and chopped into 1-inch pieces)
- 30 grams Green Peas (shelled)
- 1 small Carrot (cubed)
- 700 ml Water
- 125 grams Basmati Rice (washed and soaked for 30 minutes)
- 250 to 300 ml Vegetable Stock (2 to 3 times the rice)
- 1 large Onion (sliced thinly)
- 4 Cloves
- 4 Green Cardamom
- 2 Bay Leaf
- 6 Black Peppercorns
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 3 tablespoons Ghee
- 30 grams Curd (whisked smoothly)
- Salt to taste
To tie together in a muslin cloth (Potli)
- 1 teaspoon Ginger (grated)
- 5 Garlic Pods (crushed)
- 1 teaspoon Saunf
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Seeds
- 10 Cashew Nuts (halved and fried)
- 1 small Onion (sliced and caramelized)
- 1 teaspoon Mint Leaves (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Coriander Leaves (chopped finely)
Place a huge, heavy-bottomed pan on high flame.
Add 700 ml of water.
Add the potli and all the vegetables like cauliflower florets, green peas, french beans, and carrot.
Season with little salt.
Let them boil till they get half cooked.
Drain and collect the vegetable stock to add to the rice for cooking.
In the same pan add ghee and heat over low flame.
Add all the masalas like cloves, black peppercorns, green cardamoms, bay leaf and cinnamon stick
Let them fry for a few seconds.
Add sliced onion and let them fry till they turn into golden brown.
Now, add the rice, salt, curd, boiled vegetables and about 300 ml of the stock.
Cover the pan with a very heavy lid and seal its edges with a moist towel.
The rice has to be cooked slowly on “dum” for about 20 minutes.
After the time is up, open the lid and gently fluff the rice with a fork.
If it looks uncooked, add some more stock and continue cooking.
The amount of stock needed will depend on the age and the variant of the basmati rice used.
Lastly garnish with the caramelized onion slices, fried cashew nuts, mint and coriander leaves.
Serve hot with raita.
The salt is added at 3 stages, hence adjust quantity accordingly. The quantity of rice can be increased, in that case, the cooking time and all other ingredients will have to be adjusted proportionately.