Yakhni Mutton Biryani

Finally I return! Now that I have made the big move to Sydney and set myself free from the strenuous months of packing/unpacking and moving and settling, I’m so glad to come back to my blog, I’ve missed it!

I return to you with an ace up my sleeve ….Biryani. It is a dish that has the power to control you! You will surrender to it, you will crave for more! There is something about it that is so grand.

Biryani is a dish my husband would gladly eat for breakfast lol… The aromatic spices, fragrant long grain Basmati rice, meat that melts in your mouth, the fusion of the ingredients and finally that exploding “out of the world” taste! It is an Indian dish and every state in India has different versions of biryani and no matter how different, every version is amazingly delicious!  For this recipe I have used Goat’s meat, in India “mutton” is referred to Goat’s meat, whereas in Australia and Europe mutton is the meat of sheep and if you ask me, which tastes better I’d tell you Goat not because it is exceptionally lean and low in fat but really It’s just about personal preference. So you my dear readers feel free to substitute Goat with Chicken/Mutton/Beef whichever you prefer and keep in mind that the cooking time will vary.

This particular version is called “Yakhni Mutton Biryani” where “Yakhni” means broth or stock. The meat is boiled with whole spices and the broth is used to cook the biryani. This is an exceptionally easy recipe and I have used a pressure cooker to make this biryani which makes it way too easy and less time consuming, and if a pressure cooker sounds intimidating to you, this dish can also be easily cooked in a pot as well.

“Yakhni Biryani’ in comparison to other versions, is less spicy and immensely fragrant. It is best enjoyed with raita or mint chutney. My personal favorite is the hot and spicy “Hari mirch and lahsun ki chutney” (Green chilies and garlic chutney).

Let’s get started!!

yakhni mutton biryani

Serves 4

You will need…




  • 800 gms Goat’s meat with bones, cut into medium pieces
  • 2 ½ cups Basmati rice, washed and soaked for 1 hr
  • 5 tbsp. Ghee
  • 200 gms Plain yoghurt
  • Whole spices – 1tbsp Cumin seeds, 3 tbsp. Coriander seeds, 1tbsp Black Pepper, 3 tbsp. Fennel seeds, 2 Black Cardamom pods, 12 Green Cardamom pods, 4 Cinnamon stick, 2 Mace, 2 Star anise, 12 cloves, 3 Bay leaves.
  • ¼ tsp. Turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp. Garam masala
  • 6-7 Mint leaves (optional)
  • 2 Onions, medium size
  • Ginger- 1 inch piece, roughly crushed
  • Garlic- 5 cloves, roughly crushed (skin on)
  • 1 tbsp. Ginger and Garlic paste
  • 5 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 5-6 Green chilies, slit
  • ½ tsp. Food color (Orange)
  • ½ tsp. Saffron
  • 2 tbsp. Rose water
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • Salt to taste


Preparing the “Yakhni”

  • In a pressure cooker, add the mutton, boiling water, whole spices-all,Turmeric powder, 1 onion cut in 4 pieces, crushed ginger and garlic. Turn the heat on medium and cover and secure the lid tightly.
  • Cook the meat till the pressure cooker whistles 5-6 times (approx. 10 mins) or alternatively in a pot till the meat is done (approx. 40 mins).
  • Once it’s done, carefully release the pressure from the cooker and remove the lid, now separate the meat pieces from the broth. You might see some spices stuck to the meat, by all means remove them if you like or you can leave them as is. Drain the broth through a sieve and keep it aside. Discard the whole spices as their job is done.



Preparing the Biryani

  • Slice one onion and keep aside.
  • Heat the pressure cooker on a medium high flame. Add 2 tablespoon ghee, 1 bay leaf and fry for about 30 seconds, add the sliced onion and fry till they are slightly dark brown.
  • Remove some of the fried onion and keep aside on a paper towel for the garnish later on.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste to the cooker and sauté for 2-3 minutes and then add green chilies and garam masala. Now add plain yoghurt (Add a little water if it is thick) and stir and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the cooked meat and salt, stir well and let the meat and the masala cook together for 5 minutes.
  • Add the Yakhni (broth) approx. 2 ½ cups, soaked and drained basmati rice, 3 tbsp. lemon juice and ever so gently (you don’t want to break the rice) stir the rice through the broth and the meat. Now is the right time to check the salt, add more if needed.
  • Cover and secure the lid of the pressure cooker and after 2 whistles release the pressure and open the lid. Put the leftover ghee, 2 tbsp. lemon juice over the rice.
  • Mix Rose water and food color and add it to the rice.
  • “Yakhni mutton biryani” is now ready to eat. Transfer the biryani in a serving dish and garnish with Mint leaves, Saffron and fried onions.
  • Enjoy the hot plate of Biryani with raita! And get ready for some special compliments from your family and friends!



yakhni biryani

  • You can also use meat tenderizer or raw papaya paste to soften the meat.