Beef Yakhni Pulao


Yakhni means meat stock. It could be beef, lamb, mutton or chicken stock. The perfect combination of meat stock, rice and meat yields a pot full of moist, fluffy and flavored rice with succulent pieces of meat. Yakhni Pulao is a fragrant one pot meal which is served and relished at celebratory occasions. The gorgeous golden brown color of this pulao comes from the golden crisp fried onions and aromatic whole spices. It is the yakhni (stock) which brings out the taste in this pulao.

Using meat on the bone makes the yakhni pulao very delicious as the juices play a very important role in the texture, form & taste of the final dish. It is important to marinate the meat well to bring out the intense flavors of the spices. It is equally important that the cooked meat is not only tender but soft. It is better to use a natural meat tenderizer (raw papaya paste which is generally used) or in its absence use a commercial tenderizer.

Today’s recipe of the Beef Yakhni Pulao is very quick & tasty. The bouquet garni or the potli/bundle of whole garam masala eliminates the tedious & painstaking ritual of separating out the whole spices from the pulao. It is a real joy to relish a Yakhni Pulao without concentrating on fishing the spices out! So the children, young & old can truly enjoy the goodness of this yummy rice and meat preparation.

Give it a try & I bet you would want to make it ever so often. 😀

Ingredients :

  • 200gms Beef on the bone (preferably) or boneless
  • 200 gms. picked, washed & soaked Rice (Basmati/Ambe Mohar or any fragrant rice)
  • 3 med. Onions (peeled & sliced)
  • 4 tbsps. fresh Ginger-Garlic paste
  • ¼ tsp. Turmeric pwd. (optional)
  • 2 fresh Green Chillies (slit) or to taste
  • 5 tbsps. Vegetable Oil
  • Salt to taste

For the Garnishing :

  • Coriander & Mint Leaves (chopped)
  • Crisp fried Onions

For the Bouquet Garni /Potli Masala :
In a small piece of muslin, bundle & tie up with a string;

  • 1 large stick of Cinnamon
  • 16 Cloves
  • 20-25 Peppercorns
  • 2 Black Cardamom(lightly bruised)
  • 3 Green Cardamom (lightly bruised)
  • 1 tsp. Cumin Seeds
  • 2 tbsp whole Coriander Seeds
  • 2 Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)

Soak in a little water.

Procedure :
Wash, drain & marinate the beef with 2 tbsps. ginger-garlic paste, turmeric pwd., tenderizer/raw papaya paste and a little salt for about an hour. (To soften the meat, use a tenderizer as per packet instructions or about a tablespoon of raw papaya paste).
Pressure cook the marinated meat, one sliced onion, soaked bouquet garni/potli masala with 5 cups of water for about 4-5 whistles or till the meat is just tender.

Allow the cooker to cool down a little and then release the steam completely.

Strain the stock, separate the meat, squeeze out the juices from the potli (bundle) & discard it.

The meat stock should measure up to 4 cups. If the amount of stock is less then add water accordingly to measure up to the required amount of liquid.

Heat the pressure cooker body with cooking oil till hot.

Add the remaining sliced onions and fry until lightly golden brown.

Reserve some fried onions for the garnish.

Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté till the moisture evaporates.

Add the slit chillies and fry for a few seconds.

Drain and add the soaked rice. Gently sauté till the rice grains are separated, well coated and glossy.

Add the cooked meat and pour in the reserved meat stock and give it a good stir. Taste to check seasoning and adjust if necessary. Also adjust water level if required as this depends on the quality of the rice.

Pressure cook up to 2 whistles. Release steam immediately. Cover to allow the juices to be absorbed by the rice for about 10-15 minutes.

Just before serving, lightly fork the Beef Yakhni Pulao to loosen and separate the rice grains.

Serve garnished with freshly chopped coriander leaves & or mint, crisp fried golden onions, raita and salad.

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