Jump to the Yakhni Pulao Recipe
I recently ran a poll on my Insta Stories where I said cooking for me ranges from feeling like therapy to full on torture and asked where you stood. Most people leant towards therapy, but the bulk of you that messaged me said that it is compulsion that kills it for you. I agree. Wholeheartedly. The difference between I want to and I have to is significant.
For instance, take Yakhni Pulao. I really love it, but there is never a have to attached (I may love it a little more than everyone else lol). So for me cooking this Yakhni Pulao Recipe with it's heady aroma is therapy. That said, the traditional way (stovetop) it takes well over an hour just to get the stock ready if you are making it with beef. I am used to slow cooking meat so that in itself does not bother me. However, that's a solid hour that the aromas I find delightful when I am eating full on move into my couch and rugs and the house smells for days on end. I don't find that quite so delightful.
The idea of getting the yakhni (stock) ready and Pulao on the table in under an hour had great appeal for me. Especially when it meant that most of the smell could be contained inside my trusty Instant Pot. That said, I have usually made it stovetop so if you do so then simply bring the liquid to a boil and then simmer till tender. Either way this Yakhni Pulao Recipe WORKS!
If you read nothing else in my babble then READ THIS: KNOW YOUR RICE. I use Falak brand basmati rice and it cooks very quickly, my quantity of stock reflects that. If you add your stock and feel like the liquid is not enough then add a little more. The cooking philosophy is the same though. Bring the liquid to a boil and keep on a low boil partially covered until the water is absorbed. If your rice isn't quite done cover your pot and cook on the lowest setting for another 5-8 minutes.
You will note that I use boneless beef in this recipe, you are completely welcome to use bone in beef or mutton since it has a lot more flavor. Please do remember that the bones will release their own liquid so you will end up with far over the 4 cups. You can cook it down for greater flavor or reserve some of it for another day and use.
Yakhni Pulao Recipe (Beef/Mutton)
- 1 lb beef cubes
- 2 inch ginger roughly chopped int chunks
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp whole black pepper
- ½ tsp cloves
- 4-6 whole red chillies (optional)
- 2 tbsp saunf
- 2 tbsp whole coriander seeds
- 3 cups rice (rinsed and soaked)
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 2-3 cloves
- 5-7 whole black peppers
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 onion chopped (roughly 1 cup)
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 ½ tsp garlic paste
- 4-5 Green Chillies (finely chopped or ground into a paste w water) (OPTIONAL)
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- salt (1 tsp + 2 ½ tsp)
- Oil for cooking
- Combine all the yakhni ingredients along with 3.5 cups of water in your Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Stir and set on Manual for 15-18 minutes, naturally release.
- While the meat is cooking soak your rice
- When the pressure releases strain the stock to remove the whole spices. Keep the beef chunks aside.
- Heat a lug of oil in a pot
- Add the whole spices - cumin seeds, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon sticks and fry until they crackle and you can smell the aroma
- Put the chopped onions into the pot and saute until they caramelize (8 minutes or so)
- Now add the garlic and ginger paste, saute for another minute. Add the chopped or ground green chillies if using.
- Add the coriander powder, red chilli powder, and 1 tsp of salt. Cook for another 30 (add a splash of water if it starts to burn)
- Now in go the beef chunks, stir for a minute so they can absorb the spices and flavors.
- Add the rice and the strained stock. Adjust with additional water if your rice requires it.
- Put in 2.5 tsp of salt, bring to a boil and cook partially covered until the water is more or less dry and the pulao is done. If the rice is still not cooked shut the lid and turn the heat down, keeping it on low till cooked through.
- If you want to be as efficient as possible then put the yakhni ingredients in the Instant Pot and then chop your onion. When the instant pot is ten minutes into natural release then start cooking. By the time you are ready for the meat it should have released entirely, if not manually release the remainder.
- The chillies - red and green - add great flavor but they are entirely optional!
- If you want to make the straining of the meat less messy simply tie up all the ingredients for the broth in a muslin bag and remove the bag from the broth when it's done
If you are a rice lover then here are some other mains for you to check out!
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Girrrllll! I love you for making my life easy!
why thank you! I try!!!
Rebecca | Becky Keeps House says
"It is compulsion that kills it for you" yes, yes, yes, yes. I totally agree. I LOVE cooking, but when it becomes a "HAVE to" it sucks a lot of the pleasure out of it.
Girl, Mashallah Tabarakallah, your chaawal pics have me salivating! Going to adjust your instant pot recipe for my pressure cooker (because Lord have Mercy, ain't no chance of using an instant pot in load shedding Pakistan!) Will check back with you via IG or here Inshallah.
Have made this several times and love it, your measurements are perfect Masha Allah! Thank you for sharing 🙂
Thank you thank you!!! It is one of my all time favourites and I am so happy you enjoyed it!
Can I substitute the beef with chicken?
Hi! You can, but I know you would need to reduce the liquid and for chicken i'd say bone in is a must for your pulao to get really good flavour! I am not sure what the right time would be for it to get tender, but I'd say reduce by 5 minutes of manual pressure time and check.
Asma Panjwani says
Sara: love the recipes. Was wondering if you could also share your raita recipe. I never get it right.
Hi Asma! Sure thing - are you looking for this green kind?
Asma Panjwani says
Yes the green one. Looks so delicious. Btw your recipes are so so good and easy to follow particularly the instant pot ones. Thank you!
Hi! I'm a brand new IP user and being Hindu we don't eat beef, but I love yakhni pulav. What adjustments would I need to make for chicken?
Hi Karishma! You can absolutely make this with chicken, but you would have to adjust cooking times and reduce the water because a.) red meat takes longer and b.) chicken bones release their own water. I don't know off the top off my head how much time chicken would take in the IP but I'd be happy to test it for you when I am back home (currently travelling and don't have an IP!)
Sara Ahmad says
I was in search for the perfect Yakhni Pulao recipe and I have found it! Thank you Saira!!
Thank you Sara! I am so glad you liked it!
This recipe is AMAZING! Better than the pulaos I grew up eating in my family. I've made it thrice now and each time it turns out perfect. Thanks so much Sarah! 🙂
Yay!!!! Thank you so so much Nikita!!! I am SO happy to hear this!
Farah Hasnie says
Sara thank you for this awesome recipe. I have never made this rice before and your recipe was so simple (easy to follow) yet so flavorful!!! It turned out delicious. . I couldn’t believe I could make something so delicious without any store bought spice mix.
Farah thank you so very much!! Really appreciate that!
I thought the whole paloon will be made in instant pot
Hi Leena! Sadly no, as said in the recipe title there's an Instant Pot shortcut (my mother slow cooks the yakhni) but I don't usually make rice in the Instant Pot for two reasons. 1.) I am v finicky about the rice being just right and 2.) I have an 8 quart IP and the timings for rice are different in a 6 quart IP which is more common.
Excited to try this!
If I were to use 2lbs of beef, do you have any idea how much water I’d need to add plus how long it should cook in the instant pot for?
Hi Myra! I am excited for you to try it too! Okay so the IP is a funny thing in that if you have more meat etc in there then you it'll basically cook it longer anyway because it'll take longer to bring it up to pressure so just add another 3-4 minutes to time and add another 2 cups of water!
Talha Khan says
Sarah, thanks for posting this recipe. I had never made pulao before and thought it was pretty easy. The only thing I’d do different next time would be to use a little less salt, perhaps 1 + 1.5 tsp, instead of 1+ 2.5 tsp. I look forward to trying out some more recipes from your blog.
I am so glad it worked for you and yes absolutely tweak to taste! Thanks for taking the time to share this!
This is such a great recipe! it turned out absolutely delicious!
I am so so glad insiya!
RIZWANA QURESHI says
for Goat you would treat this like lamb? how much time would you put for goat?
hmm so I would do the same amount in lbs, perhaps a little more because goat tends to be bone heavy
I made this today. My first time making authentic yakhni pulao. Alhumdulilah it's a well explained recipe. I did the second step in the instant pot as well using the rice feature.
Sarah Mir says
YAY! I am so so glad to hear it!!!!!
A perfect ‘base’ recipe for pulao! I’ve made this so many times now that I feel comfortable making my own little modifications. I’ve subbed fresh onions for 1/2 cups of pre-fried, and used 2 cups rice + 4 small potatoes instead of 3 cups (my family is aaloo obsessed!) and with 3.5 cups stock it turns out perfect
Sarah Mir says
Oh wow Syeda! thank YOU!!! I am so glad it works for you and I love the modifications you made!
Hi, the recipe states to table spoons of sunaf. I have tried to look for this but can’t find it, fo you know what it is and where I could find it?
Sarah Mir says
Hi Ahsan! Saunf in English is fennel and fennel seeds are frequently available in grocery store spice sections! Hope this helps!
Made this for the first time today and it was a complete hit. Everyone loved it. And now it’s going into rotation for a family fav. Such rich flavours and so lip smacking delicious.
Sarah Mir says
MELISSA! I am SO SO happy to hear that!!!! thank YOU!