Yakhni Pulao Recipe | Chicken Yakhni Pulao | Yakhni Masala Pulao


Yakhni Pulao is a much loved traditional Kashmiri dish made from some interesting ingredients such as basmati rice, chicken, and a blend of aromatic spices. These exotic spices add delicious flavor to it and making it an irresistible appetizer. This homemade version of Yakhni Pulao is prepared with the same Kashmiri style and you will definitely enjoy this recipe. This luscious and satisfying recipe will be an example of your culinary skills and an ideal meal for dinner. Serve with raita or green chutney to make it more appealing.

I remember that there was a time when all our family gatherings had this set menu. They were Yakhni Pulao, (mutton and potato curry), Aalo gosht, shami kebab, raita, salad, and sweet dish kheer (rice pudding). As a kid, I and my brothers weren’t very keen on pulao, and that we always asked mom to make biryani rather than pulao. However, Nihari and Biryani are still my favorite desi foods but Yakhni Pulao has also made a dramatic inclusion within the top 5 list. While Biryani is bold, it is having a robust flavor and bright color. Yakhni Pulao is all about richness and aroma. There’s no comparison between these two brilliant main dishes as they’re different in every possible way.

The dish is essentially called “Yakhni Pulao” or simply Pulao. Yakhni is an Urdu word for broth. Mutton, beef, or chicken pieces are boiled with onion, ginger, garlic, and whole garam masala till meat is tender and the duration of cooking and water medium extract maximum flavor and aroma out of the meat and spices. If the broth isn’t rich and aromatic, Pulao would be only salted rice then. Meat is taken out of the broth then slightly fried/pan-roasted with golden brown onion. What proportion you brown the onion would dominate the color of Pulao. Some love it being white in appearance during which case onion is merely sautéed. The broth is strained and measured then added to roasted meat with some more spices to reinforce the flavor and aroma. Bring it to a boil and add soaked rice and cook till done. There you’ve got it.

This process of creating Yakhni then straining applies when desi chicken or beef or mutton is getting used because they require a longer duration of your time to urge tender. I’m using broiler chicken which doesn’t take much time to urge cooked, therefore, the following recipe is made to possess a balanced cooking time otherwise chicken would practically get dissolved if cooked to form yakhni then cooked again with rice. If you would like to make Pulao with mutton or beef, you’d need to adjust the cooking time, spice proportion, and ratio of cooking oil/ghee to fry the onion, counting on the fat content of the meat.



Yakhni Pulao Recipe | Chicken Yakhni Pulao | Yakhni Masala Pulao


  • Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp coriander crushed
  •  3
  • Cooking oil


Yakhni Pulao Recipe | Chicken Yakhni Pulao | Yakhni Masala Pulao

How to Prepare Yakhni Pulao?

Step 1 – Prepare a Spice Bag:

To make Yakhni Pulao, take a clean cloth bag and add onion pieces, garlic pods, ginger, black cardamom, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon stick, and mace in it. Then tie the opening with a tiny cloth rope. Your spice bag is ready.

Step 2 – Cook Chicken with Spices:

First of all, wash and clean the chicken under running water and set aside. Add 3 cups of water in a large cooking pot, salt, and chicken. Then place the spice bag in this pot and turn on the flame. Cook it for 20-25 minutes until chicken gets ready.

Step 3 – Yakhni is Prepared:

Now, remove the spice bag and chicken in another pot and set aside. The yakhni is all set.

Step 4 – Fry onions in the Ghee:

Heat ghee in a frying pan and add fry sliced onions. Keep ¼ of it and set aside.

Step 5 – Fry Other Spices in the Same Pan:

In the same pan with light brown onions add cumin seeds, ginger-garlic paste, salt, tomatoes, coriander powder, red chili powder and fry for 2 minutes. Then add yogurt, green cardamom, and whole spices powder and heat on a medium fire. When tomatoes are fully tender add fennel seeds and chicken in the pan and heat it for another 2 minutes.

Step 6 – Combine Masala and Yakhni:

Now, mix this masala in the prepared yakhni and let it boil. When bubbles are formed then add rice and cook the rice uncovered for 6 minutes. Then drop some fried onions and a tbsp of ghee on the rice and seal the pot with a lid. Place flour dough on the sides of the lid so that the flavors do not run away.

Step 7 – Cook the Rice:

Cook rice on a low flame for 15-20 minutes or till the rice is prepared.

Step 8 – Serve and Enjoy:

To make it more delectable serve with cucumber raita or green chutney. Enjoy!


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