Mom makes awesome Yakhni pulao, but its made with chicken back at home. Before turning to vegetarianism, I have had mom’s yakhni pulao and it used to be great. I would only eat the rice and not the chicken and my folks use to think I have gone crazy.
I have made a Vegetarian version of the Yakhni pulao. along with the veggies, you could make it more wholesome by adding soy chunks, tofu or paneer.
Yakhni pulao is a Nawabi recipe Made with a lot of care and attention like the biryani. a little here and there and your yakhni pulao may become a not so good pulao.
The rice grains have to be separate and yet cooked. The veggies also should be tender and not mishmashed. Yes this recipe demands perfection.
As they say practice makes a man or a woman perfect. i tried making yakhni pulao many times. Something or the other would go wrong. Most of the times the rice would always be over cooked. The taste was alright but the texture was not so nice.
Finally after some practice, now I can make a better Yakhni pulao. much better, both taste wise and texture wise than what I have done before. Try this one at home as its much different than a regular pulao.
Its called as Yakhni pulao as the rice is cooked in Yakhni which means “soup” or “stock”. the stock is made first by cooking the meat with the spices. This is a veg version. So obviously, I have made the yakhni with the veggies and spices.
The veggies are half cooked. The Yakhni or stock is strained and added to the rice along with the half cooked veggies and then cooked on dum till the rice is done.
The result of cooking in this manner, is that the rice absorbs all the flavors of the Yakhni and what you get and taste is an aromatic flavorful rice pulao.
The veggies are cooked in water and a Bouquet garni made of spices. the spices are kept in a muslin cloth and then tied tightly. This small bundle of the spices is called Bouquet garni.
The bouquet garni is kept with the veggies, water & salt and the whole mixture is allowed to cook till the veggies are half done. The bouquet garni is squeezed and discarded. The stock is strained and the veggies are kept aside.
Later the veggies, stock and rice are cooked on dum. Its better to use basmati rice for this pilaf recipe. For best results soak the basmati rice in water for about 30 minutes. Drain it before adding it to the veggies and yogurt.
I have used 5 cups of water to make the yakhni pulao. So that I don’t need to add extra water later to the rice in case its needed. And if at all any extra yakhni remains, it can be gulped as a soup or can be added to gravies, curries, dals, parathas etc.
I have garnished the yakhni pulao with fried onions, mint leaves and cashews. You could just garnish with fried onions also known as birista.
Do try this aromatic and healthy yakhni pulao at home. The yakhni pulao is best served with an onion tomato raita or cucumber raita. You can also serve it with a veg curry of your choice.
How to make yakhni pulao with vegetables
Making bouqet garni:
1. Take 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, ½ tablespoon fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1 inch ginger + 5 to 6 small to medium garlic cloves (crushed) in a muslin cloth.
2. Tie the muslin cloth securely with the spices inside it. This is the Bouquet garni.
Making vegetable yakhni (veg stock):
3. Heat 5 cups of water.
4. Add 1.5 cup mixed chopped veggies like french beans, carrots, cauliflower and potatoes. Also, add ½ cup of green peas (matar) along with the Bouquet garni. add salt as required.
5. Cover with a lid.
6. Cook the veggies till they are half done.
7. Squeeze the bouquet garni and discard away the spices. through a strainer strain the stock/yakhni and keep the veggies aside.
8. Also keep the vegetable stock aside. From this vegetable stock measure 2 cups and keep aside. The remaining veg stock, you can refrigerate and add it to soups, dals, curries, rice dishes, parathas, rotis etc.
Making yakhni pulao
9. Rinse 1 cup basmati rice and then soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes drain all the water and keep the rice aside.
10. Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a pan.
11. Add 2 to 3 small tej patta (Indian bay leaf), 3 green cardamoms, 1 inch cinnamon stick, 1 black cardamom, 4 to 5 black pepper and 3 cloves. Fry spices till they are fragrant.
12. Then add 1 medium-sized sliced onion.
13. Fry the onions till they are golden.
14. Add the soaked and drained basmati rice.
15. Stir the basmati rice well.
16. Now add the half-cooked veggies and 2 to 2.25 cups of the veg stock/yakhni. Add salt if required. We have already added salt to the yakhni. Keep this in mind before adding the salt.
17. Add 3 tablespoons fresh curd (yogurt or dahi).
18. Mix well.
19. Cover with a tight lid. I have wrapped the lid with a moist cotton cloth or kitchen napkin to cook on dum. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes on dum on a low flame.
20. Later open the pan. If the rice appears not to be completely cooked and the mixture looks dry, just add some warm yakhni/broth to the rice. Gently stir with a fork. Cover tightly and cook the pulao for a few minutes more. If there is some stock in the pulao, then do not add any extra veg stock. Just cover the pan and cook further for some more minutes.
Garnish for yakhni pulao
21. Take one tablespoon ghee or oil in a pan. add 1 small sized onion, sliced thinly.
22. Once the onion changes to light brown color. You can add ½ cup cashews and fry with the onion.
23. Fry till the onion becomes golden brown.
24. Garnish with fried onions, fried cashew nuts and some chopped coriander or mint leaves. Serve yakhni pulao hot with onion raita or with onion kuchumber.
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Yakhni Pulao with Vegetables
for the bouquet garni
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 inch ginger + 5 to 6 small to medium garlic cloves, crushed
for vegetable yakhni
- 1.5 cups chopped veggies like cauliflower, carrots, french beans, peas
- ½ cup green peas, fresh or frozen
- 5 cups water
- salt as required
for yakhni pulao
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 cup basmati rice, soaked in water for 30 minutes
- 2 to 3 small tej patta
- 1 medium sized onion, thinly sliced or ⅓ cup sliced onions
- 3 green cardamoms
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 1 black cardamom
- 4 to 5 black peppers
- 3 cloves
- 3 tablespoons fresh curd (yogurt)
- salt as required
for the garnish
- 1 small sized onion, thinly sliced or or ⅓ cup sliced onions
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander or mint leaves
- 12 to 15 cashews (optional)
- 1 tablespoon ghee
making bouqet garni
- Take coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and crushed ginger+garlic in a muslin cloth.
- Tie the muslin cloth securely with the spices inside it. This is the bouquet garni.
making vegetable yakhni (veg stock)
- Heat 5 cups of water. Add 1.5 cup mixed chopped veggies, green peas and salt as required.
- Also place the bouquet garni in the pan along with the veggies. Cook the veggies till they are half done.
- Squeeze the bouquet garni and discard away the spices.
- Through a strainer strain the stock/yakhni and keep the veggies aside.
- Strain and take 2 cups stock. remaining veg stock can be added to any soup, dal or gravy dish.
making vegetable yakhni pulao
- Rinse 1 cup basmati rice. Then soak the basmati rice in water for 30 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a pan.
- Add the other whole spices - cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaves, black cardamom and peppercorns. Fry till they are fragrant.
- Add sliced onion. Fry the onion till they are browned.
- Add the soaked and drained basmati rice. Stir the basmati rice well.
- Now add the half cooked veggies and 2 to 2.25 cups of the broth (yakhni). Add salt if required. We have already added salt to the yakhni. Keep this in mind before adding the salt.
- Add curd (yogurt). Mix well.
- Cover with a tight lid. I have wrapped the lid with a cotton cloth or kitchen napkin to cook the pulao on dum.
- Cook for 15 to 20 minutes on dum on a low flame.
- Later open the pan. If the rice appears not be completely cooked and the mixture looks dry, just add some warm yakhni/broth to the rice. Gently stir with a fork. Cover tightly and cook for a few minutes more.
- If there is some stock in the pulao, then do not add any extra veg stock. Just cover the pan and cook further for some more minutes.
garnishing yakhni pulao
- Take one tablespoon ghee or oil in a pan. Add ⅓ cup thinly sliced onions.
- Once the onion changes to light brown color. You can add some cashews and fry with the onion. fry till the onion becomes golden brown.
- Garnish the pulao with fried onions and fried cashew nuts and some chopped coriander or mint leaves.
- Serve veg yakhni pulao hot with onion raita or with onion mint kuchumber.
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