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Mutton yakhni pulao served in a plate.
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5 from 4 votes

Mutton/Lamb Yakhni Pulao Recipe

An absolutely flavorful and delicious yakhni pulao that gives you loose and separated rice grains. The aromatic will keep making you ask for more.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Bohra Cuisine, Indian, Pakistani
Keyword mutton yakhni pulao, Mutton/Lamb Yakhni Pulao Recipe, yakhni pulao
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 709kcal


For yakhni

  • 600 grams mutton or lamb (bone-in) preferably lamb shank

Spices for yakhni

  • ½ tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed (saunf)
  • 2 inch cinnamon
  • 1-2 black cardamom
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise (badiyaan phool)
  • 7 clove


  • 1 small onion , cut four pieces
  • 1 inch ginger sliced
  • 6 clove garlic sliced
  • 4 cup water
  • ¾ tablespoon salt more to taste
  • 1 tomato chopped (optional)
  • cup oil

For Pulao

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • cup (500 g) long grain basmati soaked for 20 minutes
  • 2 medium onions sliced

Pulao Spices

  • tablespoon green chilli paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 10 whole black pepper
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ tablespoon coriander powder


  • 4-6 dried plum (aloo Bukhara)
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • Few mint leaves

Optional Garnish

  • Fried onion
  • 6 Fried green chili slit in two and de seeded
  • 5 Fried garlic slices
  • Fresh mint


For Yakhni (Broth)

  • Stir-frying the meat in the pot for 1-2 minutes until the color of the meat changes.
  • Add salt, ginger, garlic, onion, tomato, and ingredients in the ist of whole spices for yakhni. Continue to stir-fry for another 1 minute then pour 4 cups of water into the pot and bring it to a boil.
  • Once, yakhni starts boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot and cook for 35-50 minutes just until the meat is tender. Pro tip: Do not over-cooked as it will continue to cook with rice.
  • Strain yakhni and separate the meat from the residue. Squeeze the residue in the strainer to extract as much juices as possible. Then discard the residue. Set the yakhni and meat aside.

Other Preps

  • While yakhni cooks, soak basmati rice for 20 minutes or follow instructions on the packet for soaking.
  • Boil the potato (if using) with a little salt and set it aside.

For Pulao

  • In a thick-bottomed pot, fry onion slices on medium heat until very soft and translucent.
  • When the onion begins to turn golden add pulao spices and dried plums. Fry for 1-2 minutes.
  • Now mix in cooked meat and whipped yogurt and cook for another 2 minutes then add potato and only soaked rice. Make sure not to add any extra water along with soaked rice.
  • Measure yakhni. We need 2.5 cups of total liquid. So measure the yakhni and add extra water (if needed) to make 2.5 cups. Also, add ½ of the mint leaves and save the rest for garnish.
    Pro tips: The level of yakhni above rice should be about 1 inch, you can test by dipping your finger. Taste salt in the gravy at this stage it should be slightly saltier than you'd like. 
  • Boil pulao rice on medium heat and stir occasionally. Too much stirring can break the grains. When most of the water is absorbed, cover the pot tightly without letting any steam escape. (This is called 'Dum')
  • Continue to cook on low heat for 10 minutes until the rice is almost dry and fully cooked. Yakhni pulao is ready.Remove from heat.
  • The rice is slightly damp-looking. Do not stir at this stage. Let the rice rest covered in the pot for 5-7 minutes to complete absorption.

For Garnish

  • Dish out rice in a plate and garnish with fried onions, garlic, chillies and fresh mint leaves.


  • Rice: Use premium quality long grain and aged basmati rice. Basmati rice, unlike other rice varieties, have the capability to absorb flavors from the spices and bone broth.
  • Mutton or Lamb: You must use bone-in meat. Meat with chops and lamb shank cuts make a good choice.
  • Salt: Yakhni gravy is absorbed by the rice, we need to keep the Yakhni salty like a slightly salty soup. You can taste Yakhni right before adding soaked rice to check the salt level.
  • Dried plum: This is an optional ingredient. You can easily find it in Indian stores.
  • Potato: Potatoes taste amazing in pulao but you can skip it.
  • Spices: If you don't have 1 to 2 spices you can skip it. Chilli paste is the main heat factor in the pulao consider adjusting it to preference.
  • You may use 50 grams Karan instead of aloo Bukhara. This makes delicious karan pulao.
  • Pro-tip for Garnish: You may fry onions slices, garlic slices, and chilies separately to garnish while the meat cooks. You may fry these first and then fry the onion slices for pulao in the same flavored oil. Or you may simply garnish with fresh mint which is also amazing.


Calories: 709kcal | Carbohydrates: 91g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 737mg | Potassium: 941mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 201IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 4mg