Biryani is one of the favorite dishes among Indian cuisine. There are so many variations of this dish depending on the regions of India or even the family traditions of people. It is a layered rice dish with different meat or veggies, fried onions, fresh herbs and saffron. It is a phenomenal dish that takes a bit of time to prepare – not because of the complexity of the ingredients but because many part of this dish are cooked separately and then brought together to get blended into one glorious Biryani dish!
Kashmiri Yakhni Biryani is a very different type of biryani dish that is made with a spiced meat stock (also known as “Yakhni”) and then cooked again with a large mix of spices and herbs to create a very distinct taste to this dish. Despite the use of the spiced stock and spice meat, it is not an intensely spicy dish at all. On the contrary, this dish allows you to taste the flavor of the meat with a subtle hint of spice in the background. It is a really tasty dish despite it not being fiery and full of heat like many traditional biryani dishes you may have had in the past.
The Yakhni biryani is then cooked again the last few minutes with a thick yogurt sauce on top that infuses into the rice and meat to give it a creamy taste that is so amazing! This dish is a full-on flavorful dish that allows you to see how versatile Indian cuisine can be. It also lets you realize that Indian food is not only about the heat, it is about using our spices to season and flavor dishes so you can showcase the flavors of the main ingredients.
Yes – there are a few steps to make this biryani dish but if you are willing to take a try and make this, you will really see how delicious this type of biryani is. It is really good on its own and/or with a curry to accompany it.
This biryani is well worth the time and effort – you will truly love it and appreciate the beauty of Indian cuisine even more!
Kashmiri Yakhni Style Biryani
- 3 cups of basmati rice (cleaned)
- 2.5 to 3lbs of chicken thighs or meat on the bone (thighs can be cut into large chunks)
- 1 cup oil
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1 green chili
- 2 tsp. cumin powder
- 2 tsp. coriander powder
- 2 tsp. salt (add more to taste)
- 1 tsp. red chili powder
- 2 tsp. garam masala
- 8 green cardamom pods
- 2 tsp. ground fennel seeds
- 2 tsp. garlic paste
- 2 tsp. ginger paste
- ½ cup chopped cilantro for garnish
- Few threads of saffron – 1/8 tsp.
- 5 onions (cut into thin slivers and fried till golden brown)
- For Yakhni Stock:
- 3-4 cups of water
- 3 Tbsp. ginger paste
- 2 Tbsp. garlic paste
- 1 small onion (cut into half)
- Yogurt Sauce:
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 green chili
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp. of chopped cilantro
*NOTE: Boneless, skinless meat can be used in this recipe also. Cut into medium chunks and follow recipe as written.
- To make Yakhni Stock:
- In a large pot, add water, ginger paste, garlic paste, onion, and chicken/meat.
- Heat on medium-high for about 15-20 minutes to allow all ingredients to release flavor into the water.
- After time, strain the chicken/meat from the liquids and keep separate. Set aside.
- In another large pot, add basmati rice and fill water to ¾ to the top and allow to cook about 15-20 minutes on medium heat or until rice is a little past al dente in texture. (Do not overcook or allow rice to become too soft, as it will be cooked again in later steps.) Strain rice in a large colander and cool off with cold water to stop cooking.
- In a large deep skillet or pan, add oil and when hot, add tomatoes, green chili, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt, red chili powder, garam masala, cardamom, fennel seeds, garlic, and ginger.
- Sauté on medium heat till all ingredients mix into a thick paste consistency.
- Add chicken/meat pieces and cook for about 5-7 minutes till all meat is coated with the spiced paste mixture.
- Add in the broth and mix. Allow to cook till it bubbles.
- Lower heat and begin to add in the basmati rice, a few spoonsful at a time and start to cover the chicken mixture.
- Add the fried onions and saffron on top of the rice.
- Add the chopped cilantro on top of the onions.
- Cover the pot and allow to cook for about 10-15 minutes on low heat.
- After time, remove from heat and uncover. Gently toss all the rice and meat together till everything is mixed.
- Make the yogurt sauce mixture and gently pour on top of the biryani. Cover the pot again and allow to sit in heat for another 5-7 minutes. (Do not turn stove on for this process.)
- After time, remove cover and transfer to desired serving platter. Serve hot.
What do you think? Don’t be intimated at all the steps – you can do it! If you love biryani, you will love trying this new version!
Let me know your thoughts on this recipe. Comment below or tag me with your Yakhni Biryani pics on IG @cmspiceculture.