Dinners where you can cook everything in a single pot are one of my favorite things. This recipe for Kashmiri Yakhni Pulao is one of those recipes, and you’re going to love it. When you look at the pictures, this looks like just another chicken and rice dish, but it’s so much more flavorful than that.
Kashmiri Yakhni Pulao is full of delicious spices like garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves and they all come together beautifully in the chicken. The rice is cooked separately in the chicken broth at the end, making it much more flavorful than plain white rice.
Kashmiri Yakhni Pulao
Yakhni Pulaos and biryanis have a lot in common in that they are both a mix of meat and rice cooked together. But what makes a Yakhni different is that it is all about the rich, meaty broth that you create. It’s actually a very simple, comforting dish and all the flavor comes from the meat broth and the spices.
In contrast, biryanis often have a lot of other spices and aromatics such as onions, garlic, mint, yogurt etc. added, as with this Lamb Biryani Recipe here.
Another way this yakhni pulao recipe is different from a biryani, is that the spices are left whole and are cooked in a cheesecloth pouch, and then discarded after cooking, unlike most recipes where you grind the spices and put them directly on the meat itself. This allows the meat to be infused with the flavors of the spices, and not just topped with them.
Thirdly, for a yakhni pulao, you have to cook it in two stages: One to make the broth, and the other to cook the rice in that yummy broth.
Pressure cooking this Kashmiri Yakhni Pulao in your Instant Pot also helps it to be infused with the flavors from the spice pouch. This also saves time from grinding up spices, or from spices losing their flavor because they were ground too long ago. Make it and tell me what you think!
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For the Yakhni
- 1/2 cup (80 g) Sliced Onions
- 6 (6 ) Garlic Cloves
- 3 (3 ) julienned ginger
- 2 (2 ) pieces of Indian Cinnamon Cassia Bark, each about 2 inches thick
- 4 (4 ) Cardamom Pods
- 6 (6 ) Whole Cloves
- 6 (6 ) Whole Black Peppercorns
- 1 pound (453.59 g) Bone-in Skin-on Chicken Thighs
- 1.5 cups (375 ml) Water
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Salt
Make the Yakhni
- Place onions, ginger, garlic and whole spices into a cheese cloth bundle and secure tightly.
- Place chicken, water, salt, and the cheesecloth bundle in the inner liner of your instant pot.
- Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow the pot to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes, and then release all remaining pressure.
- Remove the cheesecloth bundle and discard.
- Remove the chicken and break into large pieces.
- You should have 1.5 cups of stock in your instant pot (use a measuring cup to be sure).
- Leave 1.5 cups of stock in the pot for cooking the rice and reserve any remaining stock for a different recipe.
Make the rice
- To the stock in your inner liner, add the rinsed long grain basmati rice, garam masala, ghee and salt. Push the rice down to ensure it is covered by the stock.
- Lay the large shredded chicken pieces on top of the rice.
- Cook at high pressure for 4 minutes. Allow the pot to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes, and then release all remaining pressure.
- Mix lightly and serve.
- You can also make this with beef or lamb if you prefer. If you cut the meat into large, bite-size pieces, you won’t need to change cook times.