Yakhni pulao recipe- Kashmiri chicken yakhni pulao recipe step by step

Yakhni pulao recipe – Kashmiri style chicken yakhni pulao recipe with step by step pics. Yakhni pulao is an authentic Kashmiri pilaf recipe made with chicken, basmati rice, and flavourful Indian spices. This yakhni-based Kashmiri chicken pulao is basically a one-pot meal and it is best to serve with raita. 

Yakhni is an Urdu word that means stock or broth, can be made with chicken, mutton, beef even with vegetables, and the pulao is prepared in that flavourful yakhni. Due to such a cooking style, this pulao is called yakhni pulao.

For making Yakhni or broth, meat(chicken/mutton/beef) or vegetables are cooked in water with lots of flavourful spices. Later the meat or vegetables are separated from the yakhni and even yakhni or stock is also separated from the whole spices. The cooked meat/vegetables are again cooked in various flavourful spices and lastly mixed up with rice and finished up by cooking in its own yakhni-based water. 

chicken yakhni pulao is served in a white plate and pan with curd & vegetable raita and beresta(crispy fried oinion)

Though due to the Kashmiri cuisine, Yakhni pulao is a popular Indian dish however Pakistan and Bangladesh also have their own version of making this recipe. Though there are no huge differences in their spices and cooking style with us as its origin is same. 

As per its history, yakhni pulao originated in afghani cuisine and reached in India through Mughals. That is the reason India and its subcontinent Pakistan and Bangladesh also owning similar yakhni-based pulao recipes.

If you are searching for an Indian-style chicken pilaf then try this Kashmiri chicken yakhni pulao recipe in your kitchen. Though it is easy to make however a little time-consuming. However, my step by step recipe and tricks will help you to get the best result.

ingredients of making kashmiri style chicken yakhni or broth

Even you may try my other pulao recipes, like, Kolkata style white vegetable pulao, Bengali style Sweet Yellow pulao, vegetable herb rice pilaf.

You can try my Bengali biriyani recipes too, Kolkata style chicken biryani, Kolkata mutton biryani recipe.

Yakhni pulao recipe – Kashmiri chicken yakhni pulao recipe


For making chicken yakhni

  • 600 gms chicken
  • 600 gms basmati rice
  • 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 yakhni pulao masala

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

Making of yakhni pulao

  • 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
  • Powdered yakhni pulao masala
  • 1 tsp kewra water(optional)

Prep time: 15 mins

cooking time: 45 mins

Total time: 1 hr

Servings for: 6 people

course: Main course

Cuisine: Kashmiri/Indian

Author: Moumita Paul

How to make Kashmiri chicken yakhni pulao recipe with step by step pics


Making of chicken Yakhni 

  • Take a pan with chicken pieces(cleaned and washed), onion, ginger, garlic cloves, whole spices(cumin, coriander, fennel, bay leaves, star anise, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, black cardamom), water, and salt. Stir it well. Cover it to cook.
making kashmiri style chicken yakhni with chicken, 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 the yakhni aside.
when chicken is perfectly cooked means flavourful chicken yakhni or broth is ready

Making of yakhni pulao masala

Except for the whole masalas, I’ve used a ground masala in this recipe which makes this pulao more flavourful.

  • In a grinder or a mortar-pestle, take whole black peppercorn, cardamom, nutmeg, and mace.
  • Ground it until almost a fine powdered masala forms.
making authentic kashmiri style yakhni pulao masala

How to make yakhni pulao

  • 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 pulao 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 yakhni pulao masala
  • Fry the chicken in masala until the raw smell of masalas go 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 yakhni(3&1/2 cups) stored earlier. Then again add 2 cups of water to the pan. Stir it well.
white rice is added to the pan after cooking chicken in masala and adding the yakhni for making the pulao with it
  • Keep the flame on high and let the yakhni start boiling. Once the whole yakhni 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. 
when yakhni starts boiling covering the pan for cooking the rice and chicken in it
  • 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, serve it with salad or raita, and enjoy.
pulao rice is perfectly cooked in yakhni and indicates the recipe is done


  • It was my chicken yakhni pulao recipe, you may try this recipe with mutton too. The method and ingredients will be almost the same. As for making mutton yakhni pulao need to use a pressure cooker for perfectly cooking the mutton and a little more ginger-garlic paste needs to add to remove the raw smell of mutton.
  • If using basmati rice, then thoroughly washed 4-5 times, soaked for 30 mins, and drain the water before using in this pulao, 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 yakhni pulao generally prepares in white rice( with basmati rice or pulao rice), however, for health reasons, you may try this recipe with brown rice too.
  • Don’t use tomato and red chilli powder in this recipe if you want to have authentic Kashmiri style chicken pulao. As that will change the colour and authentic taste of this pulao and this will happen because tomato is not used in authentic Kashmiri food.
  • However, for making Pakistani and Bangladeshi style yakhni pulao recipes, you may use tomato and red chilli powder too with my other ingredients described over here.
  • Must use that powered yakhni pulao masala to get the authentic Kashmiri style taste.
  • For 600 gms chicken and 600 gms(3 cups) rice, I need to use 5 & 1/2 cups of water including yakhni. This means I’ve used 3 & 1/2 cups of yakhni or broth with 2 cups of water. 
  • Generally, the proportion of rice and water and the time of cooking in stock both are most important for making the best pulao recipe. So follow each step I described in my recipe to make it perfect.

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