Al Yakhni | Bottle Gourd Yakhni step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
What is yakhni
Yakhni is a mild curry made with yogurt and whole spices. This Kashmiri dish is also called yahni and is primarily meat-based. The vegetarian version of yakhni is made with bottle gourd. Yakhni is also found in Turkish and Persian cuisine. What sets the Kashmiri yakhni apart from most common Indian curries is that it does not use onion, tomato, or garlic. The dish is flavoured mainly with whole spices alone.
About this recipe
Al means bottle gourd in Kashmiri. Kashmiri al yakhni is also popularly known as dahiwali lauki. What sets this dish apart from a regular bottle gourd dish is that the pieces of bottle gourd are first fried until they are brown. It is then simmered in a yogurt-spice mixture. This unique dish is made with whole spices, along with fennel powder and ginger powder.
Bottle gourd: Use fresh and tender bottle gourd. Wash and peel the bottle gourd, and cut it into ½ inch thick pieces.
Yogurt: I use homemade yogurt to make yakhni.
Whole spices: I use cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and black cardamom.
Powdered spices: I use fennel powder (saunf) and ginger powder (sonth).
Ghee: I use ghee to make al yakhni; however it can be replaced with any cooking oil. Traditionally, al yakhni is made with mustard oil.
Tips for making perfect Al Yakhni
Use tender and fresh bottle gourd which does not have any seeds.
Cut the bottle gourd into ½ inch thick pieces. This way, they are easy to fry. If you cut them into big cubes, frying them will take longer as all the sides need to be browned.
Fry the bottle gourd in batches on medium heat and do not overcrowd the pan while frying them.
Whisk the yogurt well making sure there are no lumps. Also, add the powdered spices to the yogurt and whisk well first before adding it to the tempering.
Adjust the green chilli according to your preference.
Serve al yakhni with plain steamed rice.
Click here for more bottle gourd recipes.
This dish is:
- unique and different from a regular curry
- mildly spiced
- easy to make and suitable for beginners
Step by step instructions
1. Whisk the yogurt well making sure there are no lumps
2. Add fennel powder and ginger powder. Whisk well. Then add water, mix, and set aside
3. Fry the bottle gourd pieces until they are browned on all sides.
4. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in another pan. Add jeera, shah jeera, and whole spices. Saute for a few seconds
5. Add the yogurt mixture, salt, and green chilli
6. Mix well and bring to a boil
7. Add the fried bottle gourd
8. Simmer and let it cook until the bottle gourd is completely done
9. Add coriander leaves and mix well
Al Yakhni | Bottle Gourd Yakhni
- Wash and peel the bottle gourd. Cut them into cubes
- Take yogurt in a bowl and whisk it well
- Add fennel powder and ginger powder. Whisk well
- Add 1 cup water and mix well. Set aside
- Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a wide pan
- Fry the bottle gourd pieces until they are brown from all sides. Add bottle gourd in batches and fry on medium heat, adding some more ghee as needed. Set aside
- Heat 1 tbsp ghee in another pan
- Add jeera, shah jeera, and whole spices. Saute for a few seconds
- Add the yogurt mixture, salt, and green chilli
- Mix well and bring to a boil
- Add the fried bottle gourd
- Simmer and let it cook until the bottle gourd is completely done
- Add coriander leaves and mix well
- Serve hot with steamed rice