Simple & appetizing, Instant Pot Goat Yakhni – Kashmiri Yogurt Goat Curry, with yogurt and fragrant spices- a fast flavorful nourishing meal, that can be made in an Instant Pot!
What is Yakhni?
Yakhni is a yogurt-based curry and is a signature Kashmiri dish. Some of the popular yakhni dishes in Kashmiri cuisine include goat/lamb yakhni, chicken yakhni, lotus root (nadru or kamal kakdi) yakhni, mushroom yakhni, and several others. Yakhni is extremely delicious and does not contain red chili powder (cayenne pepper) or ground turmeric. Even more, NO ONIONS or TOMATOES. It is so easy to fix since there is no chopping required.
Yakhni is made by adding whole spices such as dried bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon stick, black and green cardamom pods. The ground spices used in yakhni include ground fennel, ground ginger, asafoetida, and garam masala. Either caraway seeds (shahi zeera) or cumin seeds are also used.
Yogurt is key in making yakhni. The yogurt needs to be at room temperature and whipped really well. I typically like to add 2 teaspoons of rice flour to the yogurt while whipping it. This makes the yakhni consistency thick.
What ingredients do I need to make Instant Pot Goat Yakhni – Kashmiri Yogurt Goat Curry?
An instant pot of-course!
Ground fennel, ground ginger, asafoetida, garam masala, cumin or caraway seeds, dried bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon stick, dried fenugreek leaves, black and green cardamom pods.
The yogurt needs to be at room temperature and whipped well with a spoon for about a minute. It needs to be taken out of the refrigerator in a bowl at least an hour before cooking. This step is key to prevent curdling of the yogurt. The yogurt does not need to be pressure cooked. Instead, it will be added gradually to the pressure-cooked goat curry. I add rice flour to the yogurt and mix it well. The yogurt/rice flour mix needs to be added slowly with a large ladle or spoon, and MIXED each time it is added to the pressure cooked goat curry. The added yogurt/rice flour mix needs to be mixed with the gravy for at least a minute each time it is added to the gravy. The mixing is key to prevent the yogurt from curdling. Full fat plain yogurt works best for this recipe.
Goat or lamb: Here I’ve used goat meat from the ribs. You can either use breast/chest or ribs for yakhni. The goat meat needs to have some fat. I buy goat from an Indian grocery store and I ask them to chop medium to large sized pieces. You can use lamb too. However, the cooking time for lamb can be reduced by 5 minutes. So instead of 25 minutes manual/high pressure you can select 20 minutes manual.
How are we going to make Instant Pot Goat Yakhni – Kashmiri Yogurt Goat Curry?
Prep for Instant Pot Goat Yakhni – Kashmiri Yogurt Goat Curry:
Mix the rice flour and yogurt (at room temperature). Whip it with a spoon for about a minute. This step is key. The yogurt needs to be at room temperature. So keep the yogurt out of the refrigerator for at-least an hour before you start prepping.
Add the whole spices (cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon stick cut into a 2 inch piece, black cardamom pods, green cardamom pod, and asafoetida) into the inner pot.
Then add water and ground spices (fennel powder, and ginger powder), salt and give it a stir. Then add the goat pieces and give it a stir.
Once all the ingredients are in, seal the pot and set the instant pot on high pressure for 25 minutes.
When cooking is complete quick release the pressure. Select sauté and add the yogurt and rice flour mix one large spoon at a time. Keep mixing the gravy. As soon as you add the spoon of yogurt and rice flour mix the gravy well for about 1 minute. Keep repeating until you finish adding all the yogurt and mixing for a minute every time you add the yogurt. The mixing step is key to prevent curdling of the yogurt. Let is sauté for 10 to 13 minutes until the gravy thickens. Keep stirring occasionally.
Top it off with garam masala and dried fenugreek leaves.
Meanwhile in a pan on medium heat, add oil and caraway seeds. When the seeds splutter turn off the heat add add the caraway seed and oil mix to the goat curry/yakhni. When the yakhni thickens in about 10 to 13 minutes press cancel and transfer it in a serving bowl.
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Instant Pot Goat Yakhni – Kashmiri Yogurt Goat Curry
- 1.5 cups plain full fat yogurt at room temperature whipped with a spoon (keep it out of the refrigerator for one hour before you start cooking)
- 2 tsp rice flour (chawal ka atta)
- 2 whole cloves (laung)
- 2 dried bay leaf (tej patta)
- 1 cinnamon stick 2 inch piece (dalchini)
- 2 whole black cardamom pods (kali elaichi)
- 1 whole green cardamom pods (hari elaichi)
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida (heeng)
- 1.5 cups water
- 3 tsp ground fennel (saunf powder)
- 1.5 tsp ground ginger (sonth)
- 1 and 3/4 tsp salt (you can add 1/4 tsp more later if you think it is less)
- 1.5 pounds goat (medium sized pieces) (ribs or chest)
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi optional)
- 2 tbsp oil of choice
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
or carraway seeds (jeera or shahi jeera)
- Keep the yogurt in a bowl out of the refrigerator for an hour until it reaches room temperature.
- Whisk the yogurt and rice flour with a spoon for about a minute or two until it is well blended. Keep it aside.
- Add cloves, dried bay leaves, cinnamon stick, black cardamom pods, green cardamom pod and asafoetida to the inner pot.
- Add water, ground fennel, ground ginger, salt, and mix well.
- Add goat and give it a good stir.
- Secure the lid on the pot and close the pressure-release valve.
- Select manual and cook at high pressure for 25 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, use quick pressure release to depressurize.
- Open the lid.
- Select sauté and add the whisked yogurt mixed with rice flour slowly (one spoon at a time) to the pot mixing it continuously. This step is key. Add one large spoon of yogurt/rice flour mix and mix it in the gravy for about a minute. Then another spoon and stir again for up-to a minute. Keep doing this until you run out of the yogurt/rice flour mix. The continual mixing will prevent curdling of the yogurt.
- When you are done adding all the yogurt mix, add garam masala and dried fenugreek leaves. Stir and let it sauté for about 10 to 13 minutes until the gravy thickens. Yakhni has a lot of gravy but the yogurt will thicken it. Keep stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, in a pan turn on medium-heat and add oil. Add caraway seeds and let them splutter. Turn of the heat and add the oil and cumin seed mix to the gravy in the pot.
- Press cancel when the required consistency for the yakhni is reached. It should take between 10 to 13 minutes of sautéing with the yogurt mix. If you like more gravy then press cancel at the 10 minute mark or if you like less gravy then press cancel after 13 minutes. Overall, yakhni has excess gravy as compared to other goat dishes.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Discard the bay leaves.
- Serve over steamed rice.