This tasty rice dish is a classic at North Indian meals. It gets its name from the Yakhni (meat stock) it is cooked in. I like to serve Yakhni Pulao with just a simple vegetable raita but you can go all out and add a curry dish too.
- 1 kg goat meat or lamb with bones, cut into 2" (or bite-sized) pieces
- 2 tbsps garlic paste
- 2 tbsps ginger paste
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 6 cloves
- 1"piece of cinnamon
- 1 black cardamom
- 10 black peppercorns
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsps coriander seeds
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 star anise
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 4 large onions - 2 chopped fine, 2 sliced very thinly
- 3 tbsps vegetable/ sunflower/ canola cooking oil
- 2 1/2 cups Basmati rice washed well
- 3 tbsps fresh yogurt
- Salt to taste
- If you are using a pressure cooker, put 6 cups of water in it. If using a deep, heavy-bottomed pan, put 8-9 cups of water in it.
- Cut a piece of muslin cloth into a 6" square and place the cinnamon, black and green cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, star anise, coriander and cumin seeds, bay leaf and red chilli powder in the center of this square. Gather up the edges and tie tightly with a piece of string to form a bundle. Put this bundle in the pressure cooker/ pan.
- Add the ginger, garlic pastes, meat and salt to taste to the pressure cooker/ pan and close. Boil till the meat is almost cooked.
- Remove the muslin bag (you can throw it out now) and separate the meat from the stock and keep aside. The stock should measure 6 cups. If there is more, boil it down till you get 6 cups. If less add hot water to it to get 6 cups.
- In a separate deep pan, heat the cooking oil and add the chopped onions. Fry till light golden.
- Now add the meat, stock, rice and yogurt and mix well. Cook on medium flame till the mixture comes to a boil, then reduce the flame to a simmer, cover and cook till the rice is done. The rice is done when you press a few grains between your index finger and thumb and they feel firm but mash completely (just like al dente pasta). Turn off the fire and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- This step is optional - While the rice is resting, fry the sliced onions in cooking oil till caramalised and golden. Drain and keep on paper towels.
- Open the pan and stir the rice well, taking care not to break up the pieces of meat.
- Garnish with fried sliced onions (optional) and serve piping hot with a vegetable raita or curry dish of your choice.