Lamb Yakhni Pulao Recipe (Lamb & Rice)

17:43 Blogs by FA 13 Comments

Lamb Yakhni Pulao Recipe

Originating from Lucknow in India, Yakhni Pulao their signature dish cannot be cooked without some of the major ingredients - lamb, it's stock and rice! Since the pulao also has lots of different Indian spices, it's very flavourful and full of essence. The recipe is perfect for a family dinner or for serving it at a party or on a special occasion. The combination of lamb and rice is not just tempting, but also appeals all the age groups. This significantly traditional recipe is best cooked when basmati (long grain) rice are used and cooked in the aromatic lamb stock on low heat to ensure all the flavours of the spices infuse well in the dish. 

When the lamb cubes are boiled with water, it results in a soupy texture known as Yakhni which is added in the pulao. Instead of adding plain water when cooking rice, it's advised to use the yakhni to cook to use as a replacement of water to ensure a beautiful flavour and that's how the name of the dish has been derived i.e. Yakhni Pulao. This delightful main course cooked with a blend of herbs and spices results in a hearty meal which is healthy as well. 

Lamb Yakhni Pulao Recipe

Lamb Yakhni Pulao Recipe

The Major Ingredient - The Lamb! 

If you don't remember the last time you cooked lamb, then I must remind that you're definitely missing one of the important ingredients that must be included in the diet. A change in the lifestyles have been observed in the individuals under 35 residing in the North Western European countries such as England and they hardly seem to purchase or cook lamb nowadays. 

Lamb Try it, Love it

The EU funded Lamb Try it, Love it campaign has enabled people to discover the unique flavours of lamb at their convenience. The Lamb Yakhni Pulao recipe is a popular Indian protein-packed dish which is perfect for a mid-week meal or for a special occasion. The premium and high quality lamb produced by the European farmers ensuring sustainable practices is a major contribution to the local economies and there's nothing more praise worthy than producing fresh and tender lamb for the people. Lamb is often used as  an important ingredient in my kitchen, and I feel it's a really exciting ingredient to cook and experiment different recipes.

Variety of Cuts of Lamb

Being a versatile ingredient, lamb can be used in lots of different recipes and is available in various cuts. Incredible lamb dishes can be produced even by using economical lamb cuts, and therefore, its not always necessary to go for the expensive cuts to cook an impressive dish for family or friends. Lots of lamb cuts such as chop, rump, neck, leg, shank, breast, loin rack, neck and shoulder are available, and for Yakhni Pulao it's advised to use meat with bones as the juices from the bones will give an added flavour to the dish. Several lamb dishes can easily be cooked in only 30 minutes and lamb is not just flavoursome, but is available easily and is affordable too!

Health Benefits of Lamb

The high quality lamb produced by the European farmers is extremely heathy because its packed with proteins and it ensures the consumers get all the essential nutrients such as the 7 vitamins and minerals including vitamin B12 and niacin that leads to a healthy lifestyle. It is highly recommended to add lamb to your everyday diet as this essential ingredient can fulfil some of the most important nutritional needs the body requires to function well. 

Once you try it, you're definitely going to love it! For more information on lamb and the lamb try it, love it campaign, click here.

Lamb Yakhni Pulao Recipe

Lamb Yakhni Pulao Recipe


For the Yakhni:
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
1½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 star anise 
5 cardamom
8 cloves
2 flower of mace
2 cinnamon sticks
1½ teaspoon coriander seeds
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
500 grams lamb cubes, cleaned & washed well

For the rice:
4 tbsp oil
2 bay leaves
2 medium sized finely sliced onions
2-3 slit green chillies
4 tablespoon whisked yogurt 
2 cups long grain basmati rice
½ cups of yakhni stock
1 teaspoon, garam masala powder
Salt, as required 
Few drops of kewra water or essence
Golden fried onion, julienne cut carrots and kishmish/raisins for garnish


Steps to prepare the Yakhni (lamb stock):
Use a small clean muslin cloth and add fennel seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom, star anise, cloves, flower of mace, cinnamon sticks and coriander seeds in it.
Use a string to tie it properly and ensure it secures all the spices.
In a pot, add 500 grams of lamb cubes and 4-5 cups of water (water will reduce to 2½ cups by the time the lamb is cooked). 
Add salt, ginger garlic paste and the muslin bag containing all the spices.
Once the lamb is tender, separate the lamb stock and the lamb cubes. 
Squeeze the muslim cloth containing spices well, so all the flavours are extracted before discarding it. 

Steps to prepare the rice: 
Wash and soak the long grain basmati rice for 20 minutes.
Heat oil in a pan and add bay leaves, then fry sliced onions until golden brown.
Once done, add the slit green chillies and fry.
The next step is to add the lamb cubes in the pot and cook on high heat for a few minutes.
Add whisked yogurt and salt and stir well
Add the rice after draining the water added at the time of soaking.
Add the lamb stock, it should be 2½ cups. Just in case if the yakhni or lamb stock is less than the required amount, add water to ensure the measurement is correct. 
Add the garam masala powder, mix well, cover the lid and leave it for it to boil.
Once the rice is 90 percent cooked and the water or stock dries up, keep it on very low flame with the lid on and leave for 10 minutes.
Add a few drops of kewra water once the dish is cooked. Some people like it and some don't prefer adding it, so its totally up to your liking and for you to decide whether to add it or not!
Garnish with golden fried onions, julienne carrots and some kishmish/raisins
Serve hot with raita and salad of your choice.

Lamb Yakhni Pulao Recipe


The lamb will cook quicker if a pressure cooker is used instead of a normal pot.
Cook the lamb prior to the time when you wish to prepare the dish as this will reduce the cooking time a lot!
Add freshly cut green chilies for the extra heat.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 mins
Serves: 4 individuals

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  1. My partner would love this. He is a massive fan of lamb xx

  2. I love the sound of this dish as we don’t tend to eat much lamb in our household. The addition of using the stock for the rice to enhance the flavour profile is a good idea. I think this would go down a treat for my family

  3. We rarely eat lamb in my home, often I have it in restaurants and such but this dish looks absolutely yummy

  4. Bet this tastes delicious, so flavorsome! I might try and coax my husband to make it! x

  5. I love lamb it's one of my favourite meats. I will try making this soon 😊

  6. I love lamb and so does my dad so this would be nice dish for us both

  7. This sounds SO dreamy, lamb dishes are by far my favourite!

  8. This sounds gorgeous, shall definitely have to make as we love lamb x

  9. I really like lamb but always struggle finding some which isn't too fatty which is why I don't cook it as often as I'd like x

  10. Love all the added spices! Might make this for my husband as he loves lamb.

  11. I have to admit I am one of those people who very rarely cooks lamb. Im not sure why, probably more habit of buying chicken or beef! This recipe sounds delicious though!

  12. I don;t often cook with lamb, but this looks absolutely delicious! x

  13. Ohh I don't eat lamb but my partner does and this would be right up his street! Love the use of spices

    Laura x


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