Vegetable Yakhni Pulao Recipe

The origins of Yakhni Pulao lies back to Persia and was introduced to Indians by the Mughal rulers. Aromatic spices are the essence of this pulao or pilaf. Yogurt is another ingredient which is the key to bringing all these flavours together and giving this pulao its unique flavor.  Ajwain (Carom seeds), Coriander (Dhania) Seeds, Fennel seeds (Saunf), Cloves (Laung), Cardamom (Elaichi) Pods/Seeds, Cinnamon Stick (Dalchini), Whole Black Peppercorns, Vegetable stock, Basmati rice, Onion, Ginger, Garlic, Green Chillies, Bay leaf (tej patta), Carrot (Gajjar), Cauliflower (gobi), Green beans (French Beans), Green peas (Matar), Curd (Dahi / Yogurt), Mint Leaves (Pudina), Salt, Ghee, Caramelized onions, Mint Leaves (Pudina), Ghee, Cashew nuts, Sultana Raisins   Spices to be powdered 1 teaspoon Ajwain (Carom seeds) 1 tablespoon Coriander (Dhania) Seeds 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds (Saunf) 3 Cloves (Laung) 4 Cardamom (Elaichi) Pods/Seeds 2 inch Cinnamon Stick (Dalchini) 2 to 3 Whole Black Peppercorns For the Rice: 2 cups Vegetable stock , or water 2 cups Basmati rice 1 Onion , finely chopped 1 inch Ginger , grated 4 cloves Garlic , grated 2 Green Chillies , slit 1 Bay leaf (tej patta) 1 Carrot (Gajjar) , thinly sliced 1 cup Cauliflower (gobi) , cut into florets 1/2 cup Green beans (French Beans) , thinly sliced 1/2 cup Green peas (Matar) 1 cup Curd (Dahi / Yogurt) , whisked 1/2 cup Mint Leaves (Pudina) , finely chopped Salt , to taste 4 tablespoon Ghee For Garnishing: 1/4 cup Caramelized onions Mint Leaves (Pudina) , for garnish 1 teaspoon Ghee 1 tablespoon Cashew nuts 1 tablespoon Sultana Raisins     20   45     To begin making the Vegetable Yakhni Pulao Recipe, first roast all the spices including shahi jeera, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick and whole black peppercorns in a small pan over medium heat. This will take about 4 to 5 minutes.Once roasted, make a coarse powder and keep aside.Prepare the caramelized onions for garnish. Heat a pan with some oil. Add the thinly sliced onions and cook till it turns brown in colour. Keep it aside.In another small pan, add a tablespoon of ghee and roast the cashewnuts over medium heat until golden brown and crisp. Once golden brown, add the raisins and saute for a few minutes and turn off the heat. Keep this aside for garnish.The final step is to cook the rice with the stock and vegetables.In a large sauce pan over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of ghee. Add the onions, ginger, garlic, green chilies, bay leaf and saute until the onions soften and you get good aromas.Add the spice powder mix, the chopped vegetables and the rice. Stir for a few minutes until you can see the rice is well coated with the spices.After a few minutes, add the vegetable stock/water and the yogurt. Add the salt and the chopped mint leaves. Stir well to combine. Bring the Yakhni Pulao to a brisk boil.Once it comes to a brisk boil, turn the heat to low, cover the pan and cook the pulao until all the rice is absorbed. The rice should be of grainy texture.Once all the water is absorbed, turn off the heat. Allow the Yakhni Pulao to rest for 10 minutes before you can stir.After 10 minutes, open, add the chopped coriander leaves and give it a stir with a large fork and fluff up the rice.Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with the caramelised onions, cashew nuts and mint leaves.Serve the Yakhni Pulao Recipe along with Paneer Tikka Masala, Punjabi Dal Tadka and Phulka for a special weekend dinner.