Mutton Yakhni
Mutton Yakhni
5 from 11 votes
A simple winter recipe, perfect for anyone coming down with the flu. Warming, hearty and soothing, this recipe is well loved by everyone. Even beginner chefs will master this recipe.
Mutton Yakhni

Mutton Yakhni. This timeless recipe hailing from the flavourful heartlands of Kashmir is a symphony of spices and tender mutton. I’ve always found it fascinating how such simple ingredients can transform into a dish so delectable, and so inviting. 

Yakhni is a rich broth of mutton and aromatic spices like black cardamom, cloves, and black peppercorns. The culinary magic begins when these ingredients are cooked to perfection, with the succulent mutton soaking up all the spicy goodness, creating a harmonious blend that dances on your palate. 

Navigating the terrain of Mutton Yakhni isn’t a steep mountain climb. You’d be surprised how the intimidating complexity of its flavours belies the simplicity of its preparation.  

It’s a dish that encourages both beginners and experienced cooks alike to engage in the joy of cooking. Just follow my instructions, and you’ll find yourself hosting a Kashmiri feast in no time. 

Variations of Mutton Yakhni are as diverse as the Indian subcontinent itself. Some versions are richer and creamier, using yoghurt to balance the fiery spices. Others prefer to accentuate the piquant flavour profile with souring agents like tamarind or dried plums.  

Regardless of the tweaks, the essence of Yakhni remains unchanged – the symphony of spices and tender mutton. 

It’s hard not to get excited about Mutton Yakhni. It’s a dish that can elevate an everyday meal into something extraordinary. Even a humble side of steamed rice becomes a royal feast when paired with this delicious mutton broth. 

Food, at its heart, is an expression of culture, and Mutton Yakhni is no exception. It’s a reflection of the rich culinary heritage of Kashmir, a region renowned for its unique blend of flavours and techniques. So let’s set sail on this culinary journey, shall we? 

Unravelling the secrets of Mutton Yakhni isn’t just about the final product. It’s about appreciating each ingredient and understanding their role in the grand orchestra that is this dish.  

And trust me, each one has a special part to play. Stay tuned as I walk you through the ingredient breakdown, promising to make your cooking experience as delightful as the meal itself. 

What Ingredients to Use & Why 

Embarking on our culinary journey with Mutton Yakhni, let’s familiarize ourselves with the cast of characters that make this dish a star. Each ingredient has its own distinct role, together contributing to the flavour symphony that is Yakhni. So, without further ado, let’s dive in. 

Mutton: The hero of our dish. Mutton adds a rich, robust flavour to Yakhni, absorbing the spices and giving it body. Its texture, when cooked properly, becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender, making every bite a delight. If you’re not a fan of mutton, you can replace it with chicken or beef, both work just fine. 

Olive Oil: Used for sautéing the spices, olive oil adds a subtle depth of flavour to the dish. Its healthy properties also make it a preferred choice for health-conscious cooks. However, any neutral oil or ghee can be used as a substitute. 

Black Cardamom: With its distinctive smokey flavour, black cardamom imparts an earthy aroma to the Yakhni, setting the stage for other spices. If unavailable, green cardamom can be used, although it gives a lighter, more floral aroma. 

Peppercorns, Cinnamon, and Cloves: These spices provide the warm undertones that characterise Yakhni. They blend together to provide a subtle heat and complexity to the dish. In their absence, a pinch of garam masala could work as an alternative. 

Onions: A base for many Indian recipes, onions give a sweet and savoury foundation to our Yakhni. No real alternative here, as onions are quite essential for the dish’s balance. 

Ginger and Garlic Paste: These aromatic pastes provide a kick of freshness and spice to the dish, rounding off the flavours beautifully. While fresh is always best, store-bought pastes can also be used. 

Salt and Black Pepper: Lastly, these two ingredients season our Yakhni, bringing out the flavours of the mutton and spices. They are pretty standard and should be adjusted according to taste. 

Now, as we step back from our analysis of the ingredients, it’s clear to see why Mutton Yakhni is such a delightful dish. Each ingredient contributes its unique notes, coming together to create a rich and flavourful harmony. 

Remember, it’s not just about following a recipe; it’s about understanding the roles these ingredients play in creating that perfect symphony. So, armed with our newfound knowledge, let’s go forth and create magic in our kitchen. 

The Essential Balance: Salt and Pepper in Mutton Yakhni 

There’s an unsung hero in our Mutton Yakhni – two, in fact – and they go by the names of salt and pepper. Often overlooked, these two humble ingredients are, in fact, the gatekeepers of flavour in our dish. 

It’s quite amazing when you think about it. Salt, a simple mineral, and pepper, a tiny berry, wield such a significant influence on how our Mutton Yakhni tastes. They might not offer the exotic allure of black cardamom or the warmth of cinnamon, but their role is just as essential. 

Salt, in the right amount, brings out the flavours of the other ingredients. It accentuates the sweetness of the onions, intensifies the earthiness of the black cardamom, and underscores the heat of the peppercorns. It creates a balance, ensuring that no single flavour dominates the dish. 

Then there’s the black pepper. A good grind of fresh black pepper brings a gentle heat to the Yakhni, an undercurrent of spice that complements the rich flavours of the mutton and the aromatic spices. It adds a layer of complexity, making the Yakhni not just tasty, but intriguing. 

But the trick lies in getting the balance just right. Too little salt and the Yakhni tastes bland, the flavours muffled. Too much, and it becomes unpalatable, the saltiness overpowering the other flavours. The same goes for the pepper. It’s a delicate balancing act, one that demands attention and precision. 

In the grand scheme of Mutton Yakhni, salt and pepper might seem like minor players.  

But, in reality, they’re the conductors of the flavour orchestra, ensuring each ingredient performs at its best. So the next time you cook Mutton Yakhni, pay a little extra attention to the salt and pepper. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes. 

Unleashing the Aromatic Magic: The Art of Sautéing Spices for Mutton Yakhni 

I’ve always believed that cooking isn’t just a mere process; it’s an artistic pursuit. It’s an orchestra of flavours, each playing its unique part, and the sautéing of spices for Mutton Yakhni is one such virtuoso performance. 

The allure of Mutton Yakhni lies in the meticulous balance of flavours. And, it all starts with the humble spices – black cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cloves.  

These might seem like simple, everyday pantry items, but in the right proportions, they create a symphony of flavours that sets the stage for the rest of the dish. 

It begins with heating the olive oil, the liquid gold that carries the flavours of our spices. As the oil heats up, in go the spices, their raw edges mellowing down in the heat, releasing their oils, and infusing the entire dish with their essence.  

This process, known as blooming, allows the spices to fully express their flavours, resulting in a depth of taste that is the hallmark of a well-made Yakhni. 

Black cardamom is my personal favourite. With its smoky, camphor-like aroma, it adds a depth of flavour that elevates the dish. The whole black peppercorns, with their sharp heat, add an undercurrent of spiciness, while the cinnamon contributes a subtle sweet-woody aroma.  

The cloves, with their strong, pungent flavour, tie it all together, creating a medley of tastes that’s tantalizing and nuanced. 

But, remember, sautéing is an art. It’s not about hurriedly tossing the spices into the oil. It’s about patiently waiting for them to release their fragrances, to change colour slightly, to swell up. That’s when you know they’re ready to meet the rest of the ingredients. 

Sautéing the spices for Mutton Yakhni might be just one small step in the entire cooking process, but it’s this step that lays the foundation for the dish. It’s this step that takes it from ordinary to extraordinary. And it’s this step that turns the simple act of cooking into an aromatic magic show. 

The Role of Onions in Mutton Yakhni 

Have you ever considered the importance of the humble onion in our beloved Mutton Yakhni? When I cook, onions aren’t just an ingredient; they are the unsung heroes that lay the foundation for this flavourful dish. 

Onions have a unique ability to transform themselves and the dish they are in. When you sauté them, they undergo a metamorphosis, turning from a pungent vegetable into sweet, almost creamy morsels that provide a backbone of flavour for the Yakhni.  

They offer a canvas for the mutton and the aromatic spices to showcase their flavours. 

Think of onions as the base layer of a painting. They may not be visible in the final piece, but without them, the painting loses its depth and charm. Similarly, onions provide a depth of flavour to the Yakhni.  

Their sweet, savoury, and slightly earthy taste is crucial to balancing the strong flavours of the spices and the robustness of the mutton. 

But their contribution doesn’t stop at flavour. Onions also add texture to our Yakhni. They soften during cooking, thickening the broth and providing a velvety mouthfeel that’s pure comfort. 

Onions may not be glamorous. They don’t have the exotic appeal of black cardamom or the dramatic punch of black pepper. But they are the quiet heroes, working behind the scenes to ensure that our Mutton Yakhni is nothing short of spectacular. 

Substituting Meats: Reimagining Mutton Yakhni with Chicken or Beef 

There’s no denying that Mutton Yakhni holds a special place in my culinary heart. The rich, robust flavours of mutton stewed with aromatic spices create a dish that’s deeply satisfying. But what if you prefer chicken or beef? Well, don’t worry, because Yakhni can be just as delightful with these alternatives. 

Chicken is a lighter alternative to mutton, both in terms of flavour and texture. When used in Yakhni, it creates a dish that’s subtler, yet equally flavourful.  

The chicken absorbs the aromatics and spices beautifully, resulting in a succulent piece of meat that’s every bit as delicious as mutton. Plus, the chicken cooks faster, making it a great option when you’re short on time. 

On the other hand, beef gives you a similar robustness to mutton but with a unique flavour profile. It takes longer to cook than mutton, but the wait is worth it. The beef becomes tender and flavourful, enriched by the aromatic broth. It’s a different take on Yakhni, but one that’s just as enjoyable. 

Substituting meats in Mutton Yakhni isn’t about finding a perfect match for mutton. It’s about exploring different flavours and textures, about creating a Yakhni that suits your taste buds.  

Whether you prefer the lightness of chicken or the hearty flavours of beef, Yakhni can be adapted to make it your own. So why not give it a try? You might just discover a new favourite. 

Harnessing the Power of Ginger and Garlic in Mutton Yakhni 

Cooking Mutton Yakhni is like conducting an orchestra where each ingredient plays a significant role, contributing to the harmony of flavours. Among these, the duet of ginger and garlic is a performance that deserves a standing ovation. 

Ginger and garlic, each potent in their own right, come together in Mutton Yakhni to provide a delightful medley of flavours. These two are the soul of this dish, lending their warm, spicy, and pungent notes that meld perfectly with the mutton and aromatic spices. 

The first act is the ginger, its spicy, slightly sweet notes teasing your palate, preparing it for the bold flavours to come. It not only enhances the taste of mutton but also tenderizes it, making each bite melt-in-your-mouth tender. 

Then enters garlic, with its robust, slightly bitter taste that mellows down as it cooks. It adds depth to the dish, its sharp edges smoothed out by the other flavours, its potency tempered, but never silenced. 

But here’s the best part: their magic doesn’t stop at the flavour. Both ginger and garlic have potent health benefits, boosting the immune system, aiding digestion, and offering a host of other benefits.  

Cooking Mutton Yakhni isn’t just about indulging in a rich, flavourful dish; it’s also about nourishing the body and soul. 

Mastering the Art of Simmering Mutton Yakhni 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about making Mutton Yakhni, it’s that patience is a virtue. This isn’t a dish that you rush; it’s a dish that you savour, from the first step to the last, especially when it comes to simmering. 

After sautéing the mutton with aromatic spices, the real magic happens when you cover the pot and let it simmer. This slow, gentle cooking method allows the flavours to meld together, resulting in a broth that’s deeply flavourful and mutton that’s fall-off-the-bone tender. 

But simmering is more than just a cooking technique; it’s an art. It requires patience and intuition, knowing when to stir when to add more water, and when to lower the heat.  

You have to keep a watchful eye, ensuring that the water doesn’t evaporate too quickly, but also that it doesn’t turn the Yakhni into a watery soup. 

Simmering the Mutton Yakhni is like telling a story. The longer you let it simmer, the more developed the plot becomes, the more the characters – in this case, the mutton and spices – evolve, creating a narrative of flavours that’s as complex as it is satisfying. 

So, the next time you cook Mutton Yakhni, take your time. Let it simmer, let it tell its story. You’ll be rewarded with a dish that’s rich, aromatic, and deeply satisfying, a testament to the beauty of slow cooking. 

The Spice of Life: Celebrating Black Cardamom in Mutton Yakhni 

When it comes to Mutton Yakhni, one ingredient that always steals my heart is black cardamom. I like to think of it as the secret weapon of this dish, the element that gives it its distinctive flavour. 

Black cardamom, with its potent, smoky aroma and slightly minty flavour, brings a new dimension to Mutton Yakhni. As it simmers with the mutton and other spices, it infuses the broth with its unique aroma and taste, adding a depth of flavour that’s hard to resist. 

But its charm isn’t just about its flavour. The almost camphor-like scent of black cardamom takes the sensory experience of Mutton Yakhni to a whole new level. It’s what makes this dish not just a meal, but an adventure, a journey into the world of rich, aromatic flavours. 

And here’s the cherry on the cake: black cardamom also offers a myriad of health benefits. From aiding digestion to boosting immunity, this aromatic spice is as nourishing as it is flavourful. 

So, the next time you enjoy a bowl of Mutton Yakhni, remember to appreciate the black cardamom. It’s more than just a spice; it’s the spice of life. 

What to Serve with Mutton Yakhni 

After putting in all the effort to make Mutton Yakhni, it’s worth considering what to pair it with. As much as I adore this dish, I believe that the right accompaniment can elevate the entire dining experience. 

Steamed rice is a classic partner to Mutton Yakhni. The mild, slightly sweet flavour of the rice complements the robust, spiced mutton and broth beautifully. Plus, the rice soaks up the flavourful broth, making every bite a delight. 

For a heartier meal, pair Mutton Yakhni with naan bread. The soft, fluffy bread is perfect for sopping up the flavourful broth. It adds a textural contrast to the tender mutton and creates a fulfilling, comforting meal. 

Finally, for something green, a side of sautéed spinach or a simple cucumber and yogurt salad can provide a refreshing contrast to the rich Yakhni. They add a pop of colour to your plate and offer a burst of freshness that balances out the robust flavours of the Yakhni. 

Choosing what to serve with Mutton Yakhni isn’t just about filling up the plate; it’s about creating a balanced meal, a symphony of flavours that sings in harmony. So, go on, play around with these pairings and see which ones strike a chord with you. 

The Melody of Spices: Composing a Flavour Symphony in Mutton Yakhni 

Mutton Yakhni, for me, is a symphony of flavours where each spice is a note, contributing to a harmonious whole. Each spice, be it the warmth of black peppercorns, the smoky depth of black cardamom, or the sweet pungency of cloves, plays its part in this flavourful orchestration. 

Black peppercorns, while seemingly simple, provide a hot, woody note that adds a hint of heat to the dish. It’s not an aggressive spice but rather an assertive one, letting you know it’s there without overwhelming your taste buds. 

Black cardamom, on the other hand, is like the bass notes in this melody. Its deep, smoky flavour is distinctive, providing a robust underpinning that complements the mutton perfectly.  

It gives the dish a unique character, a certain something that you can’t quite put your finger on, but you know it’s there. 

And let’s not forget the cloves. Their sweet, slightly bitter flavour adds complexity to the dish. They tie all the flavours together, marrying the richness of the mutton with the earthiness of the other spices. 

Making Mutton Yakhni is like composing a symphony. You need to understand the individual spices, appreciate their unique flavours, and know how to balance them to create a harmonious whole. It’s a dance of flavours, and when done right, it results in a dish that is as complex as it is satisfying. 

Embracing the Slow Cook: The Beauty of Time in Making Mutton Yakhni 

When I prepare Mutton Yakhni, there’s one aspect I cherish more than anything: the art of slow cooking. This is not a dish to rush; it’s a dish to savour, from the first stir of the spoon to the final taste. 

Slow-cooking the mutton in a medley of spices and water allows the flavours to infuse deeply, leading to a dish that is rich in taste and aroma. It’s about embracing the process, about letting the mutton simmer until it’s tender and the broth has taken on the flavours of the spices. 

The reward of this patience is the transformation that occurs. The mutton, initially firm, becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender. The spices, initially distinct, blend harmoniously to create a broth that is aromatic and full of depth. 

Cooking Mutton Yakhni is a meditative process. It’s about being present, about enjoying the journey as much as the destination.  

So, embrace the slow cook, relish the flavours that unfold over time, and celebrate the beauty of this process. After all, good things come to those who wait, and Mutton Yakhni is no exception. 

Check Out These Other Recipes 

Oh, the sheer delight of a winter feast! If you’ve loved my take on mutton yakhni, there are a bunch of other sumptuous dishes waiting for you on my blog.  

Picture this – you’re curling up on the couch, a platter of Lamb Karahi by your side. The tender, juicy lamb bathed in a hearty, rich gravy is an explosion of comforting flavours that you just can’t resist. 

But wait, there’s more. Now imagine, a warm, fragrant plate of Mutton Pulao lands on your table. The aromatic rice, speckled with succulent mutton pieces, will truly take your taste buds on a delicious roller coaster ride. 

But of course, no meal is complete without dessert. And that’s where the traditional Rice Kheer comes in. The creamy, rich sweetness of the kheer with a hint of cardamom and a sprinkle of nuts is the perfect ending note to a hearty winter meal. 

But, if you’re looking for something a tad bit spicy, the Mutton Shinwari is sure to add that extra punch. This slow-cooked mutton, stewed with aromatic spices, just melts in your mouth, leaving behind a trail of unforgettable flavours. 

And to round off this drool-worthy list, I urge you to try the Bhuna Gosht. The juicy mutton pieces cooked to perfection in a thick, spicy gravy will transport you to a winter culinary heaven. 

So what are you waiting for? Dive into these winter delicacies, and don’t forget to leave your feedback in the comments. Your thoughts matter to me. 

Mutton Yakhni

Mutton Yakhni

by Nabeela Kauser
A simple winter recipe, perfect for anyone coming down the flu. Warming, hearty and soothing, this recipe is well loved by everyone. Even beginner chefs will master this recipe.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 6
Calories 526 kcal


  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 kg Lamb
  • 2 Black Cardamom Bari Elaichi
  • 1 Peppercorn
  • 1- inch Cinnamon Darchini
  • 5 Cloves Laung
  • 1 Onions
  • 1 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 2 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1.5 litre Water


  • Add the oil into the pan and heat up on medium heat until hot
  • Add the black cardamom pods, whole black peppercorns, cinnamon, and cloves then sauté for 2-3 minutes until fragrant
  • Add the finely diced onions then cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes until softened
  • Add the garlic paste and ginger paste and cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the meat, water, salt and black pepper then cover and cook on medium heat for 1 hour until the meat is tender
  • Serve immediately with a side of steamed rice and enjoy!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 526kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 28gFat: 44gSaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 501mgPotassium: 423mgFibre: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 5IUVitamin C: 2mgVitamin D: 0.2µgCalcium: 50mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Comfort Food, Food, Lamb, Mutton, Mutton Yakhni, Recipe, Soup, Winter
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!
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Vic in Sydney
Vic in Sydney
6 months ago

5 stars
A delicious and easy recipe that isn’t too heavy on the spices. I was a little unsure how this would turn out at first but this recipe is definitely a keeper. The perfect winter warmer for those cold nights. The kids loved it. Thank you for sharing.

Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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