Lamb Yakhni Pilau The Modern Pakistani Cook House

Lamb Yakhni Pulao – The Modern Pakistani Cookhouse

By The Modern Pakistani Cookhouse

Lamb Yakhni Pilau The Modern Pakistani Cook House

Credit: The Modern Pakistani Cookhouse

I can never get a decent picture/ video of rice. I have no idea why that is; but I assure you, this Lamb Pulao (using half a shoulder of lamb cut into good sized pieces) is quite delicious!

Each grain is soft, yet retains its shape; and is enriched with yakhni (meat stock), while each piece of lamb is succulent and fall-off-the-bone tender.


  • 2 large sliced onions
  • Whole spices
  • 1 tblspn cumin seeds
  • 1 tblspn coriander seeds
  • 1 tspn black pepper corns
  • ½ tspn ajwain seeds
  • Lemon juice
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 7-10 cloves
  • Piece of cassia/cinnamon
  • 1 tblspn granulated garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tspns Himalayan pink salt
  • Basmati rice


  1. I simply make my meat stock by first, browning 2 large, sliced onions in #ghee till dark and crisp, then adding in the meat to seal/ lightly brown also.
  2. I then toss in my whole spices.
  3. Approximately a tblspn of cumin seeds, coriander seeds, 1 tspn black pepper corns, ½ tspn ajwain seeds, 2 black cardamom pods, 7-10 cloves, a piece of cassia / cinnamon.
  4. I then add approximately 1 tblspn granulated garlic, 2 bay leaves, and enough water to cover the meat.
  5. Enough salt is added to the stock – approximately 4 tspns of Himalayan pink salt (it needs to be ‘over’ salted).
  6. It cooks for around 1 hour or till the meat is beautifully tender. If using mutton, then it may need additional cooking time.
  7. At this stage, you can remove the meat and re-‘bhunao’ (brown) it in ghee [oil]. That’s what my mum does. However, if you don’t have the patience, then jump to the next step!
  8. Brought to a boil, a good squeeze of lemon juice dribbles in to the ‘yakhni’, then the remaining fluid (hot water) for the amount of Basmati you’re cooking, e.g; for 2 cups rice, scant 4 cups fluid required. So measure the amount of stock you have with the same cup you measured out your rice, then top it off with water – to make up what you need, stock wise.
  9. My 1.5 hr soaked rice (drained) is transferred to my stock and left to boil for a few mins on high till the ‘pot hole’ stage.
  10. After which the lid is placed on firmly and the heat is reduced to minimum for around 35-40 mins till the rice is fully cooked.

I serve the pulao with a simple yoghurt raita.

Pakistani chef cookThe Modern Pakistani Cookhouse

Born and bred in London of Pakistani origin, Zareen is a dedicated home cook who prides herself on preparing ‘real food’ for her Irish/ Pakistani family.  Wife, and mother of two young boys, she enjoys making the most of seasonal produce and pantry essentials, often combining exotic, natural ingredients to create unfussy, unpretentious, delicious, healthy food; bakes, puddings, teatime snacks and comforting family meals.

You can catch more of her recipes on her Instagram account @themodernpakistanicookhouse.

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