Amma's recipes have always been a hit in our amateur kitchen.
When I got married to Vishal, I had absolutely no knowledge or interest in cooking. My only experiments were in the oven where I would occasionally bake my Mum's cake recipe. The one that I love to call Comfort cake because that is one recipe I love to fall to which always yields the best and the most yummiest cake.
Coming back to my non-cooking days, (you see I always get carried away when it comes to Baking) I was presented a handwritten register by my very sweet Amma (mother-in-law) who wrote down some selected recipes. That register has some simple and easy recipes which comes out exceedingly well. Amma had written a note of encouragement for me where she asked me to enjoy cooking and not be afraid of it as cooking is no rocket science. These lines have lived with me through all these years and encourage me to experiment and enjoy cooking/baking.
Amma has such a treasure of simple, tried and tested recipes that often me and Vishal call her up for suggestions. Her simple instructions and easy to follow steps yield a winner recipe each time. So when we received a call from Zee Khana Khazana, Ab har koi chef, we simply called up Amma and asked her for a recipe with rice. Yakhni Pulao was thus experimented in our kitchen which, if I may say so, was lip smacking good in our maiden attempt.
We did enjoy 3-4 attempts of the recipe before we had to appear for the show and each time relished this simple and such flavourful dish.
Yakhni is basically a word for the flavourful stock that is prepared from meat which is then used to cook the rice. The usage of fennel seeds which is predominant in Kashmiri cuisine brings out an aromatic and delicious dish. The tender meat pieces along with the stock enriched rice makes a beautiful and delicious pair.
Ingredients - Equal amount of rice and mutton is to be used.
- 500gms of Mutton (preferably chest portions having little fat or from front raan or combination of both)
- 500 gms of rice (Basmati rice)
- 1 inch ginger
- 7 garlic cloves
- 4 tbsp coriander seeds
- 3 tbsp of fennel seeds
- Onion 4 Medium 1 Finely diced and three sliced (to fry and garnish)
- Mint Leaves (to garnish)
- Ghee 4 tbsp
- Dalchini 1” (Cinnamon stick)
- Bay leaf (Tez patta) 2 medium size
- 5 green cardamoms
- Zeera 1 tsp
- 2 whole dry red chilies
- Salt to taste
Wash mutton pieces well.
Soak rice in water for about half an hour.
In a pan fry the sliced onions and keep it aside on a paper napkin (to be used to garnish at the end)
In a pressure cooker take water little over 1 liter and put mutton pieces in. Put salt to taste (about 2-3tbsp)
Roughly crush and break garlic and ginger using a knife
Run Coriander seeds and fennel seeds in a mixer for three to four seconds to roughly break the seeds and release the flavor.
Mix the crushed Ginger & Garlic with the roughly blended coriander and fennel seeds and tie them in a muslin cloth.
Place the muslin cloth in the pressure cooker with mutton.
After one whistle over high flame simmer and let it cook for another 10-12 min.
Strain and retain the water.
Remove the muslin cloth.
In another pressure cooker put 4 tbsp of ghee and heat.
Put the combined Zeera, Bay Leaf, Daalchini, green cardamoms, dry red chilies for few seconds till they release their flavor.
Put finely diced onions and stir till the onions just about caramelizes.
Put in the mutton cooked in the pressure cooker earlier and mix gently for a couple of minutes.
Put in the rice which was soaked in water.
Gently fold the rice and the mutton pieces together.
Pour in the retained liquid from the pressure cooker cooked with mutton earlier. Ensure that the stock liquid is twice as much as the rice quantity.
Close the lid and after the first whistle simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
Let the pressure cooker rest till the remaining steam escapes in due time.
Serve in a dish of your choice and garnish with fried onions and mint leaves.