Yakhni Pulao from Lucknow and Awadh region is a one pot dish of mutton and rice, cooked together and delicately spiced, true to its Nawabi origin.
So last year, I became a part of a cookbook group which is dying now (Aparna do something), The group would pick up a cookbook every month and we would cook from it, share pictures and discuss. A little like a book club but cooking specific. I picked up a lot of interesting books as a part of that and Tehzeeb, Culinary Traditions of Awadh was one of them. The book came and for some reason got lost in a lot of my books, despite of being such a gorgeous one. So when the kitchen divas decided that this month, we will be cooking Lucknowi/Awadhi food, I thought it would be an ideal time to remove the dust from the book and get cooking, and came across this Yakhni Pulao recipe.
The book is gorgeous, has breath taking pictures of Lucknow and the royal family, weaves so many stories that will make you smile and give a glimpse of the family’s life. It’s a book I really enjoyed reading and have been cooking from it pretty often. It is meat-centric but does have some great vegetarian recipes too.
The Yakhni Pulao that I present to you today has been made from the book and its one of the few times, I have followed the recipe, almost as it is (despite reducing the amount of oil in it). I also made just half of the the original recipe. For the three of us, one kg mutton and rice just seemed a bit too much. I also marinated the mutton overnight with the spices it was supposed to cook with. Oh well! so much for following the recipe as it is. It did taste fantastically well and the taste was very very similar to the one I have eaten made by a friend’s mom.