This is a super tasty dish that is a gift from the Mughals to the world cuisine. The dish gets it's name from the word yakhni or Meat Stock (well in this case veggie stock). Here, the vegetables are simmered in water along with aromatic spices to make a thin Shorba or broth. Eventually, the broth is strained and the rice is cooked in the broth along with vegetables or paneer (cheese) and sometimes Soya chunks too. This method of cooking the rice ensures that all the flavours of the spices are well absorbed and this in turn, is responsible for the unique tasting and aromatic Pilaf.
Vegetable Yakhni Pulao Recipe:
Preparation time: 30mins
Cooking time: 20mins
For yakhni or stock:
Carrot- 1 med, sliced
Onion- 1, chopped
Water- 4 cups
Bay leaves- 2
Pepper corns- 6
For the Pulao
Basmati rice- 2 cups
Carrot- 1, cubed
Peas- 1/2 cup
Capsicum- 1 large, cut into strips
Mace- 2 blades
Onion- 2, sliced
Poppy seeds- 1 tsp
Shah jeera- 1/2tsp
Ginger- 1"piece, Ground to a paste
Garlic- 3cloves. Ground to a paste
Green chillies- 2 chopped
Coriander leaves to garnish
Ghee or oil- 3tbsp
Salt to taste
- For the stock, Combine all the ingredients and simmer of 20mins. Strain the mixture and reserve the stock
- Powder cloves, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, poppy seeds and mace to a fine powder and keep aside.
- Wash and rice for 15mins.
- Drain and add the four cups of stock and let it stand for 20mins
- Heat oil or ghee in a thick bottomed pan and add 1/3rd of the onion.
- Fry till crisp, drain and keep it aside
- Add the capsicum strips. Fry till crisp and keep it aside
- Add the shah Jeera and fry till brown
- Add the ground spice mixture and fry for a few seconds
- Add the remaining onion and green chillies and fry till the onion turn pink
- Stir in the ginger-Garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes
- Add the vegetables and fry on high flame for 3-4 mins till half done
- Add the salt, Turmeric and fry for 2mins more
- Add rice along with the stock and mix thoroughly
- Cover and cook till all the water is absorbed.
- Once done, add the fried onions and capsicums and mix.
- Check for salt and Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with raita.
P.S. Soya chunks or Paneer or both can be used instead of the vegetables.