Yummy #Kashmiri #Yakhni #Pulao

I made my yummy version of a Yakhni Pulao tonight, a traditional Kashmiri and Pakistani rice dish in which the spiced meat stock used to flavour the rice is the star of the show. (Yakhni means soup or broth)

Yakhni Pulao

Taste Atlas describes Yakhni pulao as a traditional rice-based dish with Persian origins, that over the years made its way from Moghul cuisine to India, where it’s especially popular in regions such as Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh. The yakhni stock can be made with chicken or lamb.

Yakhni stock

Here are some recipes I found from Tea for Turmeric and Archana’ s Kitchen which I am used as the basis for my version, the recipe for which I will share later this week.

Yakhni Pulao is known for unique flavours created by simmering the chicken or meat in a stock of whole spices such as green and black cardamom, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, fennel seed, cloves and star anise. I used curry leaves instead of bay leaves adding their distinct flavour to the stock, but bay leaves are more traditionally used.

I made it with lamb bone-in lamb chump chops with all the fat cut away and diced into small pieces. I simmered the lamb in water and spices for 35 minutes until the lamb was tender and a rich stock had been created.

Add water to meat and spices and simmer to create Yakhni stock

Whilst the list of spices is long, the actual Yakhni Pulao is easy to make and the delicious aromas which fill the kitchen while the meat is cooking are a great indicator of the tastes to come.

The finished dish is enhanced by spicy sides, pickles and salads. I made Spicy Indian Mint and Coriander Chutney, Indian Carrot Salad and a Cucumber Kachumber salad. Recipes to come too!

Side dishes add a splash of colour and enhance the finished Yakhni Pulao

Picnics by the pool #rarotonga #cookislands

The last few days have involved lots of beautiful relaxed eating…the kind of days I spend most of the working year dreaming about.

Grilled Mahi Mahi and salad

Christmas leftovers, barbecues and grilled fresh fish all call for good salads and accompaniments … here are some recipes of the types of side dishes we’ve been enjoying alongside our meals.

The fresh ingredients particularly local tomatoes and cucumbers here in the Cook Islands are delicious …so simple green salads and cucumber salads have also been a mainstay with heartier sides like the ones below providing some variety.

Roast potatoes

Roast potatoes

Hasselback sweet potatoes

Vegetarian Rice Pilau

Black bean salsa

Pineapple salsa

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Heirloom tomato salad with Burrata

Mixed Salad with cucumber raita

Mixed salad with cucumber raita

Hope this provides some inspiration for the new year!