• Yakhni- Lamb Curry Kashmiri Wazwan Style- Non Spicy

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    Yakhni- Lamb Curry Kashmiri Wazwan Style- Non Spicy
    Prep: 15 min Cook: 90 min Servings: 8
    by shalini
    10 recipes
    There is something intensely comforting with food memories associated with your mother. It brings back back memories of childhood and warmth and love and affections and happiness and the incessant chatter of aunts and uncles.... Vacations with the grandfather and various maternal relatives....Always bring back the flavours of Yakhni and Nandru and Kadam and rice..which was never like a basmati...but always clumpy and wet. The best way to mop up thin gravies. If you are not very familiar with kashmiri food, Yakhni is a broth made with lamb or chicken ,primarily made with yogurt. Nandru is nothing but lotus stems ,cooked either with yogurt or with a tomato onion sauce napped around the cut lotus stems. Kadam is kohlrabi(from the turnip family) or Maunj Hakh in Kashmir or kadam Saag in the rest of India.The predominant flavours are of ginger and aniseed.


    • 1.25 kg/3 (–ish ) lbs lamb( Cuts from ribs, shank and legs)
    • 1.25 l yogurt
    • 4 large onions thinly sliced
    • ½ cup /120 mils mustard oil (or any vegetable oil)
    • 1 tbsp besan/gram flour
    • 4 tbsp dried ginger powder(Sonth)
    • 4 tbsp powdered Aniseed(Saunf)
    • Salt to taste
    • Bouquet garni- Square Cheesecloth to be filled with
    • 1 tsp shah zeera/cumin seeds
    • 1 tsp peppercorns
    • 3-4 black cardamom
    • 1 stick cinnamon


    1. I always do the pre prep a night before, just to be a little stress free the time I need to make this for lunch. Heat the mustard oil to smoking point and slide the onions in the pan.
    2. If you want to use your oven –toss the onions with oil, lay them on an AL foil sheet, on your baking tray, at 450F/230C for 25-30 minutes, and then broil at 500 F/250C for 10 minutes. Just don’t leave them unattended at any time.
    3. On a very low flame, let the onions caramelize to a nice reddish color. It takes about half an hour, so be patient. If you hurry up this stage, you’ll need to redo, because the onions burn from the outside and remain raw inside. So slowly does it.
    4. Once they are done you can leave them like this overnight ,or else remove onto a plate and let them cool.
    5. Start with the bouquet garni. Make sure you tie up the cloth well, bits of cumin seed sticking to the lamb is not appetizing.
    6. Pop the bouquet garni in a pressure cooker with two teaspoons of salt and about 600 mls of water and give two whistles. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, a covered pan will do , but ensure that you keep refilling the water. You’ll want at least 600 mls of stock . The lamb should be cooked, before you proceed to the next step. Tender , but not falling off the bone.
    7. Once this is done, strain to remove all the pieces to a plate.
    8. Remove the bouquet garni and squeeze all the juice out of it, as if your life depended on it. We want all the flavors we can get.
    9. In the meanwhile, whisk the yogurt(at room temperature) with the besan/gram flour. Be sure to use fresh yogurt, Yakhni is never made from sour yogurt.
    10. If your yogurt is too thick, of the Greek lineage feel free to dilute it with water. The amount of yogurt should be the same as the lamb.
    11. Introduce some of the stock into the yogurt, whisk well, and return to the pot and simmer, stirring constantly. If you leave the spatula even for a minute you’ll end up with split yogurt. That will give you Madira( a Himachali delicacy- a lesson from the in laws will be put to use here).
    12. Stir and stir the yogurt till it comes to rolling boil. Once the stock comes to a boil, now you can reduce the flame and allow it to simmer.
    13. Add the boiled lamb pieces and allow it to cook further. You’ll start getting a wonderful mouth watering aroma.
    14. At this point in time, sprinkle the ginger powder and the aniseed powders. Make sure you stir well, they tend to form globules.
    15. Now just allow the curry to simmer, for around 10 to 15 minutes.
    16. Make plain white boiled rice.
    17. Pour the Yakhni over the rice and enjoy the spice free, yummy broth that is Yakhni.

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