Both Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian ‘Yakhni’ have a thick whitish and curdy gravy. Curd is an integeral part in their preparation. No Chillies or Turmeric is used. Plain Cooked Rice and ‘Yakhni’ form a very good combination. It is especially liked by those who do not relish hot spicy dishes.
1. Fatty Mutton cuts preferably from Breast, Neck, Tail piece and Loin, cut into 15 to 20 pieces – 1 kg
2. Aniseed whole – 2 tsp
3. Green Ginger – (15 gm) or Dry Ginger (7gm)
4. Salt – 2 tsp
5. Asafoetida a pinch
1. Mustard oil half tea cup
2. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
3. Cloves – 5 nos
4. Asafoetida a pinch
5. Curd half kg
6. Milk – 1 tea cup
7. Sugar – 1 tsp
8. Dry Ginger Powder – 1 tsp
9. Aniseed Powder – 2 tsps
10. ‘Garam Masala’ – 1 tsp
11. Caraway Seeds half tsp
12. Green Cardamoms – 10 nos
13. Black Pepper Corns – 1 tsp
14. Black Cardamom Seeds – 1 tsp
15. Pure ‘Ghi’ (Optional) – 1 tbsp
1. From ingredient list ‘A’ shred timely the Green Ginger after scraping. If Dry Ginger is used, pound it into small pieces.
2. From ingredients of list ‘B’, in a bowl, mix and churn together, with a churning stick (H -‘Biloni’), the Curd, Milk, Sugar, Ginger and Aniseed Powders. Keep it aside.
3. Pound the Black Pepper Corns and Black Car-damom Seeds into a coarse powder, and keep ready for use.
Method of Cooking
- Take a tinned copper or brass or a stainless steel ‘Patila’ of about 3 litres capacity. Put in it the Meat and add a litre of water, the whole Aniseeds, shredded Green Ginger or broken Dry Ginger, Salt and Asafoetida powder. Place the ‘Patila’ on the stove and let it boil on a medium flame for 1/2 hour or so till the Meat become somewhat tender.
- Remove, the ‘Patila’ from fire and let it cool a bit. Strain through a colander or a cloth, collecting the Soup in a separate bowl. Sort out the Meat pieces, discarding the boiled Aniseeds, Ginger and bone pieces etc. Add the soup to the churned Curd, Milk, Ginger and Aniseed mixture and again mix it well with a ladle.
- After cleaning the ‘Patila’, used for boiling the Meat, pour the Mustard oil in it and heat it till the froth disappears and the oil begins to smoke a little. Remove the ‘Patila’ from the heat for a few minutes, to let the temperature of the oil come down a bit. Add Cloves, Cumin Seeds and a pinch of Asafoetida and stir with a steel or wooden ladle, till the Cloves and Cumin Seeds fry a bit, but do not get burnt.
- Now add the mixture of Curd and Soup etc., and resume heating the ‘Patila’, while continuing to stir the contents so that the Curd does not crack and separate. Bring to a boil. When Curd, Soup etc. blend nicely, and the boiled Meat pieces. Let boil for a little while stirring the contents with a ladle now and then. Now let the Meat etc. simmer on low heat, till the gravy thickens, oil begins to show and the Meat gets soft.
- Remove from heat if the ‘Yakhni’ has to be served later. In that case, before serving, heat the ‘Patila’ again on low flame and add the ‘Garam Masala’ , pounded Black Cardamom Seeds and Black Pepper Corns. Caraway Seeds and the Green Cardamoms after crushing these a little . Pure ‘Ghi’ , if desired, may also be added. After stirring gently and boiling for a minute serve hot . If the Dish is to be served immediately after the gravy thickens, then these Condiments are added that very time.
For cooking ‘Yakhni’ and ‘Qaliya’, both Non- vegetarian or Vegetarian, generally an earthenware pot, a ‘Leij’ a ‘Deg’ or a ‘Degul’ is used in Kashmir.