Chicken Yakhni

I was a child of about seven years of age when I had my taste of Yakhni of any kind. We had gone over to a family friend’s house for dinner and a nice wazwan had been prepared as there was some occasion that was being celebrated. I remember seeing bowls of delectable preparations but every time I tasted a spoonful i had found it too spicy for me. And then I was served a bowl of yakhni with steamed rice. It was that day that I fell in love with these flavours and this wonderfully fragrant gravy. This recipe like others has been learnt over a few years from different sources. Aunts, friends and guests who gave me tips and suggestions all come alive on our dinner table when I prepare this. It’s different complex flavours and I’m sure ill get some feedback from many kashmiri people on how this is not how it’s done in their houses, but as someone told me once “harr ghar alag meheka hai.” I look forward to you sharing new tips with me too.


  1. Chicken 1 Kg
  2. Ghee 4 Tbsp
  3. Fennel seeds powder 3.5 Tbsp
  4. Dried Ginger powder 1 Tsp (sonth)
  5. Cumin seeds 1 Tbsp
  6. Bay leaves 2
  7. Asafoetida 1/2 Tsp
  8. Whole cloves 5 (crushed)
  9. Black Cardamom 3 (Crushed)
  10. Cinnamon 1″ Pc
  11. Green Chilies 3 Slit lengthwise
  12. Yoghurt 600 gms (whipped)


  1. Clean the chicken and drain excess water.
  2. Heat 3.5 Tbsp ghee in a wok and add crushed black cardamoms, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and chicken to it along with salt and Asafoetida and fry on high and medium flame to sear the meat.
  3. Reduce the heat to the minimum and cover and let the chicken leave its water and cook completely.
  4. Remove the lid and dry most of the excess water till you get a toasty fragrance.
  5. After the water has dried off, add ginger powder and about 250 ml water. Stir to mix everything well and add the fennel seeds powder.
  6. Cover the pan and let the chicken simmer in this water for about 10 minutes to take in all the flavours.
  7. In another wok, take the remaining ghee, heat it and add to it cumin seeds and crushed cloves. Reduce the flame and add whipped yoghurt and continuously stir till the yoghurt mixture boils.
  8. Add this boiling yoghurt to the chicken gravy which should now be ready, and simmer everything for about 3-4 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately with steamed rice.

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