Kashmiri style chicken yakhni pulao recipe

Yakhni pulao is a delicious Kashmiri style pilaf recipe made with long grain basmati rice, skinless chicken(legs/drumsticks) & its flavourful stock, and a few exotic Indian spices(whole spices) & essence. The best choice for them wants to make an easy-to-make chicken pulao. No side dishes are required even can simply eat with raita. Let’s see how to make it at home.

chicken yakhni pulao is served in a white plate and in its cooking pot with beresta or crispy fried onion and vegetable raita

About yakhni pulao recipe

  • “Yakhni” means stock or broth in Urdu language, whereas “Pulao” is a preparation of flavourful rice, worldwide known as pilaf. So basically Yakhni pulao is a recipe of rice pilaf prepared in a stock or broth.
  • That yakhni or broth can be prepared with chicken or mutton or beef, or vegetables. And for making such pulao recipes long-grain basmati rice or pulao rice will be cooked in that particular yakhni prepared with either chicken or mutton or beef, or vegetables.
  • Generally, pulao is prepared in a single pot, so like other pulao recipes, from making the stock to cooking rice, yakhni pulao is also prepared in one pot.
  • As this pulao is a complete meal so raita or salads can be its best accompaniment. Cucumber raita or boondi raita can be its best sides.
  • As per its history, though yakhni(meat stew or stock or broth) is originated in Persia, however, this stock-based pilaf is originated in Afghani cuisine. However, this pulao is reached in India through Kashmiri wazas. Kashmiri wazas are traditional chefs of kashmir who are originally from Persia. However later this puloa recipe passed to the Mughlai cuisine.
  • In India, From Hyderabad to Lucknow all have their own versions of pulao recipes prepared with yakhni. However, among those recipes, Kashmiri style yakhni pulao is the most popular in India. Being a traditional recipe of kashmir, it is a part of Kashmiri wazwan. Wazwan means, where several exotic kashmiri dishes are served in a single meal to celebrate special occasions of Kashmir.
  • Pakistan and Bangladesh also have almost similar pulao recipes. However, in Bangladesh, it is named “Akhni pulao”. Though there are no huge differences in their ingredients and cooking style with us as its origin is same. 
  • From making the stock to cooking the rice whole spices or sabut garam masala(shahi jeera/cumin seeds, cloves, black cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon stick, green cardamom, whole coriander seeds, fennel/saunf seeds, star anise, bay leaves) plays a key role in this pulao recipe.
basic ingredients for making chicken yakhni pulao recipe

If you are searching for an Indian-style chicken pilaf then you are in a right place. Try this Kashmiri-style pilaf aka Kashmiri-style chicken yakhni pulao recipe. Though it is easy to make at home, however a little time-consuming. But don’t worry, my step-by-step recipe and tricks will help you to get the best result.

Except for this chicken pilaf, if you are looking for some veg pulao recipes, then you may try my –

Kolkata Style White Vegetable Pulao, Bengali Style Sweet Yellow Pulao, Vegetable Herb Rice Pilaf.

If you searching for some rice recipes, then you can try my Bengali biriyani recipes too. Such as Kolkata Style Chicken Biryani, Kolkata Mutton Biryani Recipe.

Kashmiri style chicken yakhni pulao recipe


For making the yakhni

  • 600 gms skinless chicken legs/chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tsp shahi jeera/whole cumin
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 1 tbsp whole coriander
  • 1 tsp fennel/saunf
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1-inch ginger
  • 1 onion(medium)
  • 1-star anise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups of water

For making pulao

  • 600 g Basmati rice(soaked for 30 mins)
  • 5 tbsp ghee
  • 5 green cardamom
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • A finely sliced onion(medium)
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 6 tbsp curd
  • Total 5 1/2 cups of water(3 1/2 cups stock+2 cups water)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp kewra water(optional)

For making pulao masala

  • 3 green cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 javitri/mace
  • 1/8 jaiphol/nutmeg

Prep time: 15 mins

cooking time: 45 mins

Total time: 1 hr

Servings for: 6 people

course: Main course

Cuisine: Indian Kashmiri

Author: Moumita Paul

How to make Kashmiri style chicken yakhni pulao with step by step pictures


Step 1- Making of chicken yakhni 

  • For making this yakhni pulao, first, we need to make the yakhni of chicken(chicken broth).
  • So take a pan with skinless chicken legs/chicken drumsticks(cleaned and washed), onion, ginger, garlic cloves, whole spices(shahi jeera/cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, bay leaves, star anise, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, black cardamom), water, and salt. Stir it well. Cover it to cook.
making chicken yakhni with skinless chicken legs/chicken drumsticks, whole spices and water
  • Cook it until the chicken is perfectly cooked. Turn off the heat.
  • First, take the chicken out from the pan, strain the yakhni or broth to remove the whole spices, and keep it aside.
 chicken yakhni is ready with step by step pics collage

Step 2- Making of pulao masala

As the whole masala is used in making its flavourful chicken yakhni, same as I always use a special ground masala in this pulao to bring that Kashmiri flavour along with delicious taste.

  • For making this masala, take whole black peppercorn, cardamom, nutmeg, and mace in a grinder or a mortar-pestle.
  • Ground it until almost a fine powdered masala forms.
making pulao masala with step by step pictures collage

Step 3 – Cooking yakhni pulao

  • First, heat a pan, add ghee, make it hot, add finely sliced onion, and fry until it gets light golden brown color. Then add cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves and stir it well.
started making the recipe step by step by frying onion and garam masala in ghee
  • Next, add ginger-garlic paste and fry it well. Then add well-beaten curd(as shown in pics), powdered yakhni pulao masala, and chicken. Mix it well. Fry it well then add salt to it. Give a good stir. 
cooking the chicken in pulao masala with step by step collage
  • Fry the chicken in masala until the raw smell of masalas goes off and the aroma starts coming from it. When chicken is nicely fried in masala then add the rice(washed, soaked in water for 30 mins and drained the water before using) to the pan. Gently mix the rice with chicken and then add the chicken broth or stock(3&1/2 cups) stored earlier. Then again add 2 cups of water to the pan. Stir it well.
after cooking chicken in kashmiri flavoured masala, white rice is added to the pot and adding the yakhni to cook the rice in it
  • Keep the flame on high and let it start boiling. Once it starts boiling(means boiling from the whole surface, not from the side, as shown in the pics), Then slow down the heat to its minimum and cover the pan with a tight lid. 
Making chicken pulao in one pot
  • Just after 13 mins, start checking the rice. If it is cooked or ready then also wait for 2 more mins by covering the pan to soak the water in the bottom of the pan. Just after 2 mins, immediately turn off the gas. Give it 5 more mins standing time before plating. After 5 mins direct serve this hot Kashmiri style chicken yakhni pulao from the pan, with salad or raita, and enjoy.
 yakhni pulao is ready

Tips & tricks for this recipe

  • Though for making yakhni, here I directly used the whole spices in water, however, traditionally, in kashmiri cuisine, a piece of cloth is used to tie all the whole spice for making a potli with it called bouquet garni. That boubouquet garni is used in making the yakhni. You can use that spice potli too.
  • By applying the same method, you can make any other kashimiri-style pulao recipes too. Then except for the chicken, other ingredients and the whole procedure must be almost the same. Though then the amount of the ingredients may little differ. As for making mutton yakhni pulao, a little more ginger-garlic paste needs to add to remove the raw smell of mutton. Even then you need to use a pressure cooker to perfectly cook the mutton.
  • For making this recipe, If are using basmati rice, then thoroughly wash the rice 4-5 times, soak for 30 mins, and then make the rice. Otherwise, rice grains don’t look long. If you’re using pulao rice, then 10-15 mins soaking is enough otherwise the rice may get mushy.
  • Authentic kashmiri yakhni pulao is generally prepared with white rice( with basmati rice or pulao rice). However, for health reasons, you may try this recipe with brown rice too.
  • If you want to make Kashmiri style yakhni pulao, then don’t use tomato and red chili powder in this recipe. As red chilli powder or tomato is not used in Kashmiri food, even not used in making this pilaf recipe. As that will change the colour and authentic taste of this dish.
  • However, if you are planning to make Hyderbadi or awadhi(lucknow) yakhni pulao or even Pakistani or Bangladeshi-style yakhni pilaf recipes, then you may use tomato and red chilli powder too along with all other ingredients.
  • Must use that homemade powered masala. That is not only easy to make at home, but it also retains the authentic Kashmiri taste as well.
  • For making this kashmiri pulao, with 600 gms chicken and 600 gms(3 cups) of basmati rice, you need to use 5 & 1/2 cups of water including its yakhni. This means I’ve used 3 & 1/2 cups of yakhni with 2 cups of plain water. 
  • To make the best yakhni pulao, right proportion of rice & water( including yakhni) is most important. That I precisely described in my recipe, so don’t skip any step to make it perfect.

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