Mutton Yakhni Pulav

Delicately flavored rice. An Absolute Delight

Food was a lavish affair at Ma’s home. Ma would often regret not writing her Mom’s & Cook’s recipes. She would tell me that they both were exceptional cooks. She would try and recreate Grandma’s recipes with whatever she could recollect.

Mutton Yakhni pulav was one dish that was forever on her target list. She would try different set of spices and methods for this pulav to get it right. A talkative person, she would be absolutely quiet while making this pulav. At the end of it her usual response was ‘Mummy jaise nahi bana’.

This recipe is the one that I relished most of all her experiments.

Serves – 4. Time – 1 hour


  1. Mutton – 1 kg
  2. Basmati Rice – 1 kg
  3. Onions – 1 Whole, 2 sliced
  4. Garlic cloves whole – 10
  5. Ginger sliced (thick) – 8
  6. Coriander seeds – 2 tbsp
  7. Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
  8. Fennel seeds – 3 tbsp
  9. Mace – 2
  10. Nutmeg – 1
  11. Cinnamon – 1 big stick
  12. Black pepper – 25
  13. Black Cardamom – 4
  14. Green Cardamom – 6
  15. Dry red chilies – 10
  16. Ginger Garlic paste – 2 tbsp
  17. Oil – For birista & 3 tbsp
  18. Whole spice powdered – 1.5 tbsp
  19. Salt as per taste


  1. Soak rice in lukewarm water for 2 hrs
  2. Make birista of half the sliced onions and keep on absorbent paper
  3. For yakhni, put mutton, whole onion, garlic, ginger, all the whole spices, salt and 1 ltr of water in a cooker and give two whistles. Water should be enough for rice.
  4. Once cooled, separate meat pieces & sieve the yakhni, removing all the spices
  5. Heat oil in a big kadai/pan, add sliced onions & fry till golden brown
  6. Add ginger garlic paste & fry till everything is golden brown. Color here is important since this will give color to rice
  7. Add 3/4 cup water & cover with a lid for 3-4 minutes
  8. Next add meat pieces & fry for 2 minutes and add the whole spice powder. Fry for another few minutes
  9. Add rice & yakhni mix well with a very light hand
  10. Sprinkle the birista on top and cover the lid and let it cook on low flame till rice is cooked
  11. Serve hot


  1. Yakhni water should be double the quantity of rice
  2. For birista, add a pinch of salt in oil before adding onion. Salt absorbs all the moisture in onions making it crispy

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