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Yakhni Mutton Pulao

A community recipe by

Not tested or verified by Nigella.com

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Introduction

Yakhni is the Kashmiri word for mutton stock. So, this is really a mutton pilaf (or pulao) cooked in mutton stock. It was the standard rice dish at all parties and gatherings at my aunty's house but it tastes so good there were no complaints and certainly no leftover. This takes a long time to prepare but the taste makes it well worth the wait.

Yakhni is the Kashmiri word for mutton stock. So, this is really a mutton pilaf (or pulao) cooked in mutton stock. It was the standard rice dish at all parties and gatherings at my aunty's house but it tastes so good there were no complaints and certainly no leftover. This takes a long time to prepare but the taste makes it well worth the wait.

Ingredients

Serves: 5-6

Metric Cups
  • 1 kilogram mutton (bone in, from the shoulder or leg, cut into pieces)
  • 3 tablespoons oil (or ghee)
  • 200 grams natural yoghurt
  • 500 grams basmati rice
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 large onions (cut into thick slices - 3-4mm)
  • 1 fresh root ginger (thumb-sized)
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon white peppercorns
  • 8 cloves
  • 5⅛ centimetres cinnamon sticks (broken into 3-4 pieces)
  • 2 black cardamom (crushed gently with the side of a knife)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2⅕ pounds mutton (bone in, from the shoulder or leg, cut into pieces)
  • 3 tablespoons oil (or ghee)
  • 7 ounces natural yoghurt
  • 17⅔ ounces basmati rice
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 large onions (cut into thick slices - 3-4mm)
  • 1 fresh gingerroot (thumb-sized)
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon white peppercorns
  • 8 cloves
  • 2 inches cinnamon sticks (broken into 3-4 pieces)
  • 2 black cardamom (crushed gently with the side of a knife)
  • 2 bay leaves

Method

Yakhni Mutton Pulao is a community recipe submitted by hobbycook and has not been tested by Nigella.com so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe.

You will need a 10-inch square piece of clean muslin cloth.

  • Thoroughly wash and clean the mutton pieces.
  • Put the mutton in a large and deep casserole dish (in which you can later cook the rice) along with the yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons of oil/ghee
  • 1 teaspoon salt and gently mix together.
  • Set aside.
  • Spread the muslin cloth on a plate or tray.
  • Lay the onion slices in a double layer on the cloth, leaving a 2-inch margin of the cloth free all around.
  • Scatter the ginger slices, garlic, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon pieces, cardamoms and 1 bay leaf over the onion slices.
  • Now, gently gather in the sides of the muslin cloth to make a bag.
  • Tie securely with a piece of string.
  • Place this spice bag in the casserole pan, nesting it securely among the mutton pieces.
  • Pour over enough water to cover the mutton.
  • Place the casserole dish on high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Then lower the heat and simmer covered on low heat for 45 minutes or till the mutton is cooked.
  • Check at intervals, topping up with more warm water if the water reduces too much.
  • Remove pan from heat and cool sufficiently to remove the mutton pieces.
  • Strip the meat from the bones in large pieces and keep the meat aside, discarding the bones. Let the stock cool.
  • Then squeeze out as much stock as you can from the spice bag without bursting it. Be careful as the bag will retain heat.
  • Strain the stock and throw away the bag and any residue collected in the strainer.
  • You can prepare up to this point a day or two before cooking the pulao.
  • Cool the meat and stock completely and then refrigerate in separate containers with tightly fitting lids.
  • To make the pulao, wash and drain the basmati rice.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil or ghee in the casserole dish on medium heat.
  • Add the bay leaf and then the rice and stir gently to coat each grain with the oil/ghee.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes. Measure the mutton stock.
  • You need 5 cups of stock to add to the rice. If there isn't enough stock, add as much warm water as required.
  • Pour the stock into the casserole pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Lower heat, cover the pan leaving a narrow vent for steam to escape. Cook on low heat, stirring gently at intervals.
  • When the rice is two-thirds cooked, put in the mutton pieces and stir gently to mix with the rice.
  • At this point, leave the dish uncovered.
  • Taste for salt and add more if required, mixing well.
  • The rice will take another 3-5 minutes to cook completely and the water to dry.
  • Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with cucumber and mint raita.
  • You will need a 10-inch square piece of clean muslin cloth.

  • Thoroughly wash and clean the mutton pieces.
  • Put the mutton in a large and deep casserole dish (in which you can later cook the rice) along with the yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons of oil/ghee
  • 1 teaspoon salt and gently mix together.
  • Set aside.
  • Spread the muslin cloth on a plate or tray.
  • Lay the onion slices in a double layer on the cloth, leaving a 2-inch margin of the cloth free all around.
  • Scatter the ginger slices, garlic, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon pieces, cardamoms and 1 bay leaf over the onion slices.
  • Now, gently gather in the sides of the muslin cloth to make a bag.
  • Tie securely with a piece of string.
  • Place this spice bag in the casserole pan, nesting it securely among the mutton pieces.
  • Pour over enough water to cover the mutton.
  • Place the casserole dish on high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Then lower the heat and simmer covered on low heat for 45 minutes or till the mutton is cooked.
  • Check at intervals, topping up with more warm water if the water reduces too much.
  • Remove pan from heat and cool sufficiently to remove the mutton pieces.
  • Strip the meat from the bones in large pieces and keep the meat aside, discarding the bones. Let the stock cool.
  • Then squeeze out as much stock as you can from the spice bag without bursting it. Be careful as the bag will retain heat.
  • Strain the stock and throw away the bag and any residue collected in the strainer.
  • You can prepare up to this point a day or two before cooking the pulao.
  • Cool the meat and stock completely and then refrigerate in separate containers with tightly fitting lids.
  • To make the pulao, wash and drain the basmati rice.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil or ghee in the casserole dish on medium heat.
  • Add the bay leaf and then the rice and stir gently to coat each grain with the oil/ghee.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes. Measure the mutton stock.
  • You need 5 cups of stock to add to the rice. If there isn't enough stock, add as much warm water as required.
  • Pour the stock into the casserole pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Lower heat, cover the pan leaving a narrow vent for steam to escape. Cook on low heat, stirring gently at intervals.
  • When the rice is two-thirds cooked, put in the mutton pieces and stir gently to mix with the rice.
  • At this point, leave the dish uncovered.
  • Taste for salt and add more if required, mixing well.
  • The rice will take another 3-5 minutes to cook completely and the water to dry.
  • Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with cucumber and mint raita.
  • Additional Information

    I have made this pulao with lean pork and beef cuts, increasing the cooking time of the meat as necessary. The yoghurt acts as a meat tenderiser. If you like, you can use lamb instead of mutton but will need to reduce the cooking time considerably. In this case, you should return the bones to the casserole dish after removing the flesh and cook for another half an hour to improve the flavour of the stock. Then proceed as in the recipe.

    I have made this pulao with lean pork and beef cuts, increasing the cooking time of the meat as necessary. The yoghurt acts as a meat tenderiser. If you like, you can use lamb instead of mutton but will need to reduce the cooking time considerably. In this case, you should return the bones to the casserole dish after removing the flesh and cook for another half an hour to improve the flavour of the stock. Then proceed as in the recipe.

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