Chef Chiquita Gulati of "The Spice Market” cooked for us in our show the original Yakhni Pulao. Yakhni which means meat stock is a North Indian recipe and tastes best when served with plain vegetable raita.
Basmati Rice – 2 cups
For the Stock (Yakhni):
Water – 2 litres
Large bones from the leg of Lamb – 4-5pcs
Bay leaves (Tej Patta) – 3 pcs
Black Cardamom (Badi Elaichi) – 6
Fennel (Saunf Seeds) – 1 ½ tbsp
Cinnamon (Dalchini sticks) – 3
Salt to Taste
For The Rice:
Onions – 3 medium sized (Finely Sliced)
Black Cumin Seeds ( Shah Jeera) – ½ tbsp
Green Cardamom (Choti Elaichi) – 4
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Lamb/ Vegetables – Optional
•For the Stock: Combine all the ingredients in a deep pan. Cover and boil for about 20 minutes. Occasionally remove the scum.
•Deep fry the sliced onions until golden brown. Remove on an absorbent paper and drain well. Add most of it into the stock, leaving aside some for garnish.
•Boil the stock further for about 5 minutes; remove from heat and leave to cool.
•Strain the stock.
•In a deep pan, bring the stock to boil and add the rice, black cumin seeds and green cardamom. Bring to boil and cook on medium heat till rice is almost done.
•In another pan, heat the ghee * and add this rice mixture cover with a tight lid and cook on very low heat for about 10 minutes.
•Serve garnished with remaining fried onions and fresh mint leaves.
*At this stage Boiled mutton pieces (in the stock along with few cloves of crushed garlic) or Blanched vegetables can be added and sautéed. To this add about ½ tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder and ½ tsp Garam Masala Powder. Cover and cook for a few minutes till the spices combine with the juice of the meat or vegetables and follow rest of the procedure as it is. This is done when the Pulao is being served as a meal in itself while the rear is served as an accompaniment.