[email protected] (Seema Iqbal)
February 16, 2012

Here goes the basic recipe for the delicious Yakhni Biryani, a meat and rice dish of marvelous taste. It is a classic North Indian dish cooked differently and holds high place in party menu. It gets its name from the Yakhni - the meat stock - it is cooked in.


Ingredients - group 1

1. Lamb/Mutton: 1 Kg

2. Onion (medium size, chopped lengthwise): 3 - 4 Nos

3. Turmeric powder: a very small pinch

4. Tomato (small - medium size chopped): 4 - 5 Nos

Ingredients - group 2

1. Oil: 5 - 6 Tablespoons

2. Onion: 2 (medium size, chopped lengthwise)

3. Ginger-garlic paste: 2 ½ Tablespoons

4. Green chilies (less hot ones): 8 - 10 Nos

5. Salt: To taste

6. Lemon juice: 1½ Tablespoons

7. Yogurt: 2½ Tablespoons

8. Rice: 1 Kg. (Soaked in water for 10 minutes. Use short grain rice like Jeerakasala or the rice which is generally used to prepare ghee rice)

9. Coriander leaves (Cilantro) coarsely chopped: 1 Cup

10. Water (generally for short-grain rice, a ratio of 1.5 cups of water is required to every 1 cup of rice)

Step by step method for easy cooking:

Step 1:

Keep all the ingredients ready and handy.

Step 2:

Take a cooker, add lamb/mutton, turmeric powder and chopped onion, mix it and let it cook till the mutton is 75% done. Then remove the lid and add chopped tomatoes and cook it until tomatoes are dissolved, then keep aside. (This step needs only the ingredients listed in group 1 above. No oil or water is needed at this stage).

Step 3:

Take a heavy-bottom cooking vessel and heat the oil. Add chopped onion, ginger-garlic paste and sauté them for 2 to 3 minutes. Now add green chilies (less spicy ones), already cooked mutton/lamb (step 2) and sauté it for 2 more minutes. Now add salt, lemon juice, yogurt and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, keep stirring from time to time. Then add water as per the ratio mention above (refer item 10) and turn the flame to high. While it starts to boil, add soaked rice and wait for 1 minute. Now add chopped Cilantro leaves and mix the whole thing very carefully without causing any damage to the boiling rice. Now cover the lid tightly and cook in low flame until rice is fully done. This would take 6 to 7 minutes but keep checking to be on safer side. The delicious Yakhni Biryani is now ready to serve.



Serve the hot and yummy Yakhni Biryani with a portion of traditional onion-tomatoes salad or raita, or any other side dish of your liking. Pickle is a great combination too. Bon appétit!

Useful tips:

• You may adjust the water-rice ratio based on the type of rice you will use.

• Short grain rice is always advised for this dish but basmati rice also goes well.

• If the meat is real tender please avoid using cooker at Step 2.

• You may replace the lamb/mutton with chicken or any meat of your liking, but adjust the cooking time.

• In case you don’t find the chilies that are less hot, you may have to reduce the quantity.


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