Mutton Yakhni Pulao combines tender mutton with fragrant basmati rice to create a flavorsome and comforting meal. This authentic Mutton Pulao recipe from the Awadh or Lucknow region in India is served during celebrations including the festival of Eid. With this well-tested and easy-to-follow recipe, you can now make Yakhni Pulao with perfect results!

Yakhni Pulao Pakistani in a plate
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Yakhni Pulao is popular in Indian and Pakistani cooking. In India, it comes from the land of nawabs, “Lucknow.” It is a traditional recipe with a captivating aroma and wonderful flavors. It is not a spicy rice dish such as chicken biryani or lamb biryani, but is mild with an amazing depth of flavor like my chicken pulao.

The magic behind its taste comes from the Yakhni broth, which is made with aromatic spices and herbs that make this goat and rice taste heavenly.

This authentic recipe requires patience as it has a lot of cooking time, but you do not need to be actively involved during that time. I will be sharing the recipe for making this yakhni pulao on the stovetop and the instant pot (pressure cooker). So even though the cooking time is high, you can make this delightful dish on weeknights.

Watch How to Make Yakni Pulao

What is Yakhni Pulao?

Yakhni Pulao is a traditional dish that features long-grain basmati rice cooked in a flavorful broth called “Yakhni.” The broth is infused with a blend of aromatic spices and herbs, which imparts a rich and aromatic essence to the dish.

Bone-in mutton, lamb, or chicken pieces are simmered in the Yakhni broth, creating tender and juicy meat. The rice is then cooked in this flavorful broth, absorbing all the goodness of the spices and meat.

If you enjoy mutton, check out Mutton Rogan Josh, Aloo Gosht, Mutton Curry, and Keema Recipe.

What is the difference between Pulao, Yakhni Pulao, and Biryani?

Pulao, Yakhni Pulao, and Biryani are all rice dishes, but they differ in preparation and ingredients.

  • Pulao is a simple rice dish cooked with spices and may include vegetables, meat, or both.
  • Yakhni Pulao uses the special Yakhni broth to cook rice and meat.
  • Biryani involves layering marinated meat and partially cooked rice, which is then cooked to perfection, creating a more complex and spicier dish.

Ingredients 

Don’t get intimidated by the long ingredient list for this goat pulao. You will notice that most are whole spices, which you might have in your pantry if you are used to cooking Indian meals frequently.

  • Long-grain Basmati RiceThis fragrant rice variety adds a wonderful aroma and fluffy texture to the pulao. Rinse the rice and soak it before cooking for the best results.
  • Mutton (Goat Meat) or Lamb: Choose tender pieces of bone-in mutton or lamb, such as shoulder or leg cuts, and cut them into 2-inch pieces. The meat will become succulent and flavorful as it cooks in the Yakhni broth.

Yakhni Stock:

  • Yellow Onion: Roughly chop a small yellow onion to add a subtle sweetness to the Yakhni broth.
  • Garlic: Use 4-5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped, for a rich and intense flavor in the broth.
  • Ginger: A 1-inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped, will add a warm and zesty taste to the Yakhni.
  • Whole Spices: We add cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, mace, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cardamom, and cloves when making the Yakhni broth.
  • Salt: Essential for seasoning, salt enhances the flavors of the Yakhni.

For Pulao:

  • Ghee or Oil: Combine ghee and oil to cook the pulao. This will add richness and depth to the final dish.
  • Thinly Sliced Yellow Onions: The caramelized onions will lend sweetness and flavor to the pulao.
  • Ginger and Garlic: Use freshly grated ginger and minced garlic for the best flavor. You can also use ginger and garlic paste for convenience.
  • Green chili pepper: Optional but gives the dish a slight spice kick.
  • Whisked Yogurt: Yogurt adds creaminess and a subtle tanginess to the pulao.
  • Garam Masala: This aromatic spice blend brings a burst of flavors to the pulao.
  • Lime Juice: It adds a refreshing touch and balances the overall taste of the pulao.

For Garnish:

  • Cilantro Leaves: Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro over the pulao for a pop of freshness.
  • Birista/Fried Onions (optional): For an extra layer of flavor and crunch, you can top the pulao with crispy fried onions (also known as birista).
Mutton Yakhni Pulao ingredients

How to Make Mutton Yakhni Pulao?

There are two main steps in making Yakhni Pulao – Making the yakni stock and making the pulao.

I suggest planning ahead when making this gosht pulao, so you can set the broth to cook beforehand. Once the yakhni broth is ready, you can make this pulao easily and rather quickly.

Making Yakhni Stock

  • In a large stockpot, combine all the ingredients for the Yakhni broth – onions, ginger, garlic, whole spices, and salt. Then add the mutton pieces.
  • Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook for 70-90 minutes until the meat is tender.
  • Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the broth and set it aside.
  • Strain the broth to separate the onions and spices, and keep the broth aside.
  • Measure the Yakhni stock and add water to make it 2 3/4 cups.

Recipe Tips

  1. It is important to cook the broth on low heat for a longer time, so the broth gets time to develop the flavor with the meat and whole spices.
  2. Make sure the meat is cooked before taking it out from the broth, as you don’t want chewy undercooked meat in your pulao.
  3. For a time-saving method, you can use a pressure cooker or instant pot to cook the Yakhni stock on high pressure for 20 minutes with 3 cups of water. Let the pressure release naturally.

Making Pulao:

  • Rinse the long-grain Basmati rice and soak it for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat ghee or oil in a Dutch oven or large pan over medium heat and fry the thinly sliced onions until they are light brown.
  • Add the whole spices, green chili, garlic, and ginger. Sauté until aromatic.
  • Stir in the cooked mutton pieces and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add whisked yogurt, salt, garam masala, and lime juice. Cook for another minute while stirring continuously.
  • Pour in the reserved Yakhni stock and bring it to a boil.
  • Drain the soaked rice and add it to the pan. Bring it to a boil again.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and allow the rice to cook for 15 minutes until all the broth is absorbed.
  • Let the pulao rest for an additional 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and, optionally, fried onions (birista).
Yakhni Pulao in a pot

Gently fluff the rice and serve the delicious Mutton Yakhni Pulao with raita and salad.

A mouthwatering platter of Mutton Yakhni Pulao, with fragrant Basmati rice, tender mutton pieces, garnished with fresh cilantro leaves.

Recipe Tip

  1. Do not stir once you have kept the rice to cook with the broth. Cover with a lid and let the pulao cook on low heat.
  2. Once cooked, fluff the rice gently. You can use a rice paddle or spatula to gently stir the rice from the sides of the pan.
  3. Double: You can double this recipe, but make sure to measure the stock before cooking the rice.
  4. Make ahead: The yakhni broth can be made ahead of time and stored for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

What to Serve With Mutton Pulao?

Mutton Yakhni Pulao pairs wonderfully with cooling accompaniments like raita (yogurt with cucumber, mint, and spices) and crunchy kachumber salad. The contrasting flavors complement each other perfectly, making your meal a delightful experience.

Common Questions

Which Rice is Better for Pulao?

Use long-grain Basmati rice for your pulao for the best results. Basmati rice is known for its distinct aroma and fluffy texture, making it the perfect choice for this dish.

What is the best Cut of Mutton/Lamb for pulao?

Opt for tender cuts of Mutton or Lamb, such as shoulder or leg meat, as they cook well and become tender during the simmering process.

More Pulao Recipes 

5 from 4 votes

Mutton Yakhni Pulao (Easy, Authentic Recipe)

Mutton Yakhni Pulao combines tender mutton with fragrant basmati rice to create a flavorsome and comforting meal. This delightful Mutton Pulao recipe from the Awadh or Lucknow region in India is served during celebrations including the festival of Eid. With this well-tested and easy-to-follow recipe, you can now make Yakhni Pulao with perfect results!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups Basmati Rice, long grain
  • 1 lb Mutton (Goat Meat) or Lamb, cut into 2 inch pieces, cleaned

For Yakhni Stock

For Pulao

For Garnish

Instructions 

  • Rinse and soak the long grain basmati rice for at least 30 minutes.

Making Yakhni Stock

  • Place a large pot over medium-high heat. Add all of the ingredients for yakhni broth to the pot and stir them. Add the meat (goat or lamb). (Note: if you like you can put all the broth ingredients such as onions and whole spices in a spice bag or muslin cloth to make it easier to separate the meat once cooked)
  • Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low.
  • Cover and let it cook for 70-90 minutes. Check that the meat is tender. If not, cook for 10 more minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • Instant Pot Method: You can pressure cook the yakhni stock on high pressure for 20 minutes. Add 3 cups of water. Let the pressure release naturally.
  • Use tongs or a slotted spoon to separate the meat pieces from the broth. Place the meat in a bowl and keep aside. Using a strainer, separate the onions and whole spices from the broth. Discard the residue in the strainer. Reserve the broth for later use.
  • Measure the stock and if it is less than 2 3/4 cup, add water to make it that amount.

Making pulao

  • Heat oil or ghee in a dutch oven or large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and fry them till they are light brown for about 8 minutes. Make sure the onions are light brown as this will give a good color to the pulao. If needed, add 2 tablespoon water to deglaze the pan.
  • Then add the whole spices (bay leaf, cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, cumin seeds), green chili pepper, garlic, and ginger, and sauté for a minute until aromatic.
  • Add the reserved meat pieces, mix well, and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add whisked yogurt and mix. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the salt, garam masala, and lime juice. Stir and cook for another minute.
  • Add reserved stock, and mix well. Bring it to a boil.
  • Drain water from the soaked rice, and add it to the pan.
  • Bring to a boil. Once the rice comes to a boil again, reduce the heat to low. allow to cook for 15 minutes until all broth is absorbed by the rice.
  • Turn off the heat and allow to rest for another 10 minutes.
  • Instant Pot Method: Follow the same steps as the stovetop method in the instant pot. Then cook on Rice mode, which typically defaults to Low Pressure for 12 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then release the pressure manually.

Finishing Steps

  • Garnish with cilantro. Fluff the rice gently. Optionally, you can top with some birista (fried onions).
  • Serve mutton pulao with raita and salad.

Video

Notes

Meat: Make sure to use tender cuts of Mutton or Lamb, such as shoulder or leg meat, as they cook well and become tender during the simmering process.
Check the meat is cooked well: Make sure the meat is cooked before taking it out from the broth, as you don’t want chewy undercooked meat in your pulao.
Double: You can double this recipe, but make sure to measure the stock before cooking the rice.
Make ahead: The yakhni broth can be made ahead of time and stored for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Calories: 354kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 15gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 660mgPotassium: 383mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 31IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 91mgIron: 2mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Pakistani
Diet: Gluten-free
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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4 Comments

  1. Hi thanks for sharing this recipe. I am making this tonight and wanted to know how much reserved broth would be needed?

      1. Sorry what I meant to ask was how much stock for making the pulao in instant pot. Would it still be 2 3/4 cup for the 1.5 cups of rice?
        I ended up making it stovetop and it was good, though as personal taster preference next time I’ll up the spices.
        Thank you again!!

      2. Thats correct. For 2 cups of rice, use 2 3/4 cup of stock. This is supposed to be a mld pulao, so feel free to increase the spices to your taste. Thank you for the feedback!