Monday, June 6, 2016

Recipe: Bibi's Kashmiri Mushrooms (Haddar Yakhni)

Hi, I'm Bibi and I'm honored to do a recipe guest post on Alex's blog today! If you'd like to learn more about me please check out my interview here or visit my blog Keep Calm & Curry On.

In Kashmir, "haddar" means mushrooms and "yakhni" is a yogurt infused stock. In this traditional dish, mushrooms are first simmered with the warmly aromatic spices of Kashmiri cuisine to make a rich broth. Tangy yogurt is then added and the mushrooms are braised until tender in this sumptuously spiced sauce. Savory mint and a sprinkle of shahi jeera top off this famous dish from the vale of Kashmir.

Mushrooms are actually quite common in Himalayan cuisines. The vast forests of the Himalayas are home to many different varieties of edible wild mushrooms like morels, oyster mushrooms, and various types of straw mushrooms. Traditionally, Himalayan peoples have dried the various types of mushrooms for later use as well as eaten them fresh in several delicious ways. Commercial mushroom farming has only recently become popular on the Indian Subcontinent making fresh mushrooms widely available and affordable in markets. For this recipe, I've used button mushrooms farmed locally here in Nepal by a women's cooperative. I've seen this recipe prepared in Kashmir with different mushrooms gathered in the forest. Morels prepared in this manner are considered a delicacy and usually only prepared at Kashmiri Wazwan wedding feasts. Porcini, morels, shitake, and oyster mushrooms will work in this recipe too.

1/2kg/1lb mushrooms, caps sliced into quarters
1 tbsp cooking oil
2 tbsp ghee or butter
5 black peppercorns/kali mirch
1 inch piece of cassia bark or cinnamon stick
2 black cardamoms/kali elaichi, bruised in mortar and pestle
5 green cardamoms/elaichi, bruised in mortar and pestle
3 cloves/laung
2 tsp dried mint/pudina
Grind to smooth paste for sauce:
1/2 cup yogurt/dahi
1/2 tsp flour/maida or cornstarch/corn flour (this will keep your yogurt from splitting)
1/2 tsp dry ginger/soonth
1/2 tsp ground fennel/saunf
1/4 cup diced onion
1 tsp garlic/lahsun

Here's what to do:
1) Cut cleaned mushroom caps into quarters. Try to get the mushroom pieces about the same size. Set aside. Grind all ingredients listed for sauce until smooth, set aside. 

2) In large heavy bottomed skillet, kadhai, or pressure cooker - heat oil, butter or ghee and one teaspoon salt. Fry peppercorns, coriander, cassia bark, cloves, black cardamoms, and green cardamoms for 2 minutes.

3) Add mushrooms to the oils and spices. Fry for 5 minutes stirring often. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. A lot of liquid will come out of the mushrooms.

4) Add yogurt/sauce mixture from step 2 to the cooled mushrooms and spices. Stir well and return to heat.

5) If using pressure cooker seal lid and steam for two whistles. If using skillet or kadhai simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and oil has separated from the sauce.

6) Remove from heat and salt to taste. Sprinkle shahi jeera/black cumin and crumble dried mint over dish and serve.

Helpful hints:
Kashmiri curd or yogurt is quite sour and made from cow's milk because Kashmir is too cold for water buffaloes. Be sure to use a full fat and sour yogurt like the Greek style yogurt available in the West to get a similar flavor.

If you don't have shahi jeera/black cumin just leave it out. It is a traditional spice grown only in Kashmir that adds a delicate crunch and herbal note to the final dish that can't be replicated by anything else.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and do come visit me at Keep Calm & Curry On for more culinary fun!

Calmly currying on,


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  1. Congratulation, your blog has won NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2015. Please click the link below for details.


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