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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Yakhni Pulao

Mutton: 1 kg
Rice: 4 glasses

For Yakhni:
Water: 5 1/2 glasses
Vertically Sliced Onion: 2 medium
Black Pepper Corn (sabut kali mirch): 12
Cloves (long): 8
Green Cardamom (choti elaichi): 8
Black Cardamom (badi elaichi): 4
Cinnamon (dar cheeni): 2 small sticks
Basil Leaves: 2
Salt 1 tablespoon leveled (more would be adjusted if required)

For Flavours in Yakhni:
Garlic Cloves with Skin: 100 gm (preferable 1 1/2 bulb), slightly crushed
Ginger with Skin: 75 gm (1 medium piece), slightly crushed
Coriander Seeds (sabut dhania): 4 tablespoons
Fennel Seeds (saunf): 2 tablespoons
White Cumin Seeds (safed zeera): 1 tablespoon

For Final Cooking:
Oil: 1 1/2 cups
Onion: 1, large (thinly sliced)
Black Cumin Seeds (kaala zeera): 1 tablespoon
Black Pepper Corn: 8
Cloves: 6
Green Cardamom: 4
Garlic Paste: 2 tablespoons, heaped (means bhar bhar kay)
Ginger Paste: 1 tablespoon, heaped
Tomatoes: 4, medium, each cut in 8 pieces
Big Green Chillies: 4-5 (pricked 6-8 times with the tip of a knife)
Yogurt: 3 tablespoons, heaped and well beaten with a fork
Freshly Crushed Black Cumin (fresh kuta hua kaala zeera): 1 tablespoon

- wash and soak rice. Let it soak till the mutton is cooked as per the method below.
- cut a square piece of cloth (10"x10") and place all the ingredients mentioned under "for flavor in Yakhni" i.e. crushed garlic, crushed ginger, coriander seeds, fennel seeds & white cumin seeds. Tie knots from the corners so that it becomes like a small pouch. Don't tighten it too much.

Method:In a pan put mutton, vertically sliced onions, salt, 5 1/2 glasses water and all garam masala mentioned under "for Yakhni." cover and put the pressure and cook till 5 whistles.

Switch off flame and remove steam. Keep a big bowl and put a strainer (chalni) on it. Pour the whole mutton on it. The stock will go down in the bowl and mutton along with all the garam masala and the small pouch will be strained out in the strainer. Let the pouch cool down in the strainer for a few minutes. Then squeeze it's juices in the stock thats in bowl. Throw the pouch now.

From the bowl, measure 4 glasses of stock and put it in a separate bowl. If it's less then add water to make it 4 glasses. If it's more, then leave the extra stock aside.

Now take a large cooking pot, (big and spacious pateli) so that rice gets enough space to get cooked.

Heat oil in it and sauté thinly sliced onions. Add black cumin and whole garam masala mentioned under "for final cooking," i.e. black pepper corn, cloves and green cardamom. Fry till onions turn golden brown.

Stir in garlic paste and fry till light brown. Add in ginger paste and fry a bit. Now stir in tomatoes and green chillies. Fry for a minute or 2 and now put in mutton and potatoes along with all the garam masala with it in the strainer and beaten yogurt. Mix well.

If you've extra stock, then pour 1/2 cup of it and let mutton get cooked in it absorbing all the other masala. If not, then put 1/2 glass water. Cook a bit and now pour in the 4 glasses measured Yakhni.

Cover till the Yakhni boils. In the meantime, drain water from rice. When the Yakhni boils, add rice and mix well. Taste salt at this point and if it needs to be adjusted, then do so. Cover and cook on medium flame till 3/4 of the water is absorbed. Now sprinkle freshly crushed black cumin, cover and put it on dum (to be cooked in it's own steam). Best is to put a tawa (on which you cook roti) under the cooking pot.

Give dum 1st on high heat and when steam starts coming out, reduce heat to low and cook for at least 15 minutes. Mix before serving.

Serve hot with raita.

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