How to Recreate the Royal Essence of Yakhni Pulao at Home

The Yakhni Pulao is believed to have originated in Persia and was introduced to India by the Mughals during their reign. Although Pakistanis and Afghans believe the dish to be their own, Chicken Yakhni Pulao is a big part of Indian cuisine today, especially in northern regions of the country. 

It may look complicated, but anybody can prepare this savoury dish with the right ingredients!

The highlight of the dish is a saffron and yogurt-based chicken broth, infused with aromatic spices. The combination of these spices brings out the flavour of the meat. When cooked right, the Yakhni Pulao becomes a wholesome delicacy fit for a king.

The Yakhni Pulao recipe can be easily adapted to mutton, vegetable, paneer, fish or any meat of your choice. Yakhni is an integral part of Kashmiri cuisine and is often complemented with a naturally cooling raita. 

What cuts of chicken to use for Chicken Yakhni Pulao?

To make Chicken Yakhni pulao at home, you may prefer Boneless Chicken Breast or Boneless Chicken Thigh so that it cooks quickly and is more convenient to eat. Dice the chicken into cubes, anywhere between 1-2 inches in size. However, if you prefer not to dice your chicken, you can also opt for our Boneless Chicken Mini Bites, they come pre-cut and ready for your pan!

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What are the ingredients for Chicken Yakhni Pulao?
Let the preparation begin! Once you have all the ingredients ready and within reach, it’s time to start cooking. Beware, the aromas are extremely tempting and the process is enchanting, just like the final aromatic flavour of Chicken Yakhni Pulao.
  1. Step One: Preparing the Bouquet Garni: Grind cubed onion pieces, whole ginger, garlic pods, black cardamom, coriander seeds, bay leaf, black peppercorns, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon into a fine mix and tie it in a clean cloth. This mix of spices is called the bouquet garni.
  2. Step Two: Cook chicken with spices. Add 3 cups of water, cubed chicken and a teaspoon of salt, and turn on the flame. Add the bouquet garni to the mix and boil until the chicken gets done, which should take about 20 minutes.
  3. Step Three: Yakhni is ready to go! Remove the bouquet garni, keep the chicken chunks and stock aside. Your Yakhni is now ready.
  4. Step Four: Fry onions in ghee Heat up a pan with ghee and fry onions till light brown. Make sure you keep 1/4 of the fried onions aside for later.
  5. Step Five: Fry onion and tomatoes. To the remaining ghee-fried onions, add ginger-garlic paste, coriander powder, cumin seeds, salt, tomatoes, red chili powder, and stir fry for approximately 3 minutes.
  6. Add garam masala, yoghurt, green cardamom pods. On medium to high flame, heat the tomatoes till they become tender. Add your fennel seeds and chicken chunks to the stir fry masala and allow it to simmer for 2 more minutes.
  7. Step Six: Mix up the masala and Yakhni. The masala you just prepared is added to the Yakhni stock in an uncovered cooking pot where you add and boil the rice for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the ghee-fried onions you saved up in step four, add a tablespoon of ghee and cover the pot with atta dough, foil or a proper lid so that the flavours are trapped inside.
  8. Step Seven: Cook the rice. Cook for 15 minutes on low flame or until the rice is cooked to perfection.
  9. Step Eight: Serve hot
Recipe Notes

Your Chicken Yakhni Pulao is ready. Serve hot with a side of raita of your choice. Go on try it! Impress us with photos of your masterpiece on Instagram, tag us using #MadeWithLicious & you might win Licious Cash! We home deliver perfect cuts of meat for the ultimate Yakhni Pulao. Stay tuned for more delicious recipes, trivia, tips, and more.

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