Yakhni (Persian: یخنی, Arabic: يخني, Urdu: یخنی, Hindi: यख़नी, Greek: γιαχνί), yahni (Turkish), or yahniya (Bulgarian: яхния, Serbian, Macedonian: јанија) is a class of dishes prepared in a vast area from South Asia to the Balkans.
A meat stew named yakhni originated in Medieval Persia. The name derives from the covered clay pot in which it was originally cooked. The meaning of the Persian word is "store of food". Different varieties of this dish later spread eastwards to Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and South Asia and westwards to the Ottoman Empire reaching the Levant and the Balkans.
In Iranian cuisine, yakhni is a meat stew akin to khoresh, while yakhni-polow is a pilaf cooked in a stew.
In Arab, Greek, Palestinian, and Turkish cuisines, it is a stew of meat, fish, or vegetables in a browned-onion base with tomatoes and olive oil. In Bulgarian cuisine, sunflower oil is used instead of olive oil.
In Romanian cuisine, the term iahnie de fasole refers to a style of baked beans, often cooked or served with smoked meat and sausages (fasole cu cârnați).
In Pakistan and India, yakhni is simply stock or broth. It is often the base for many foods including pilaf (pulao) and other shorbas or soups.
In Bangladesh, akhni is a mixed rice dish and variant of the biryani and polao dishes.
A version of the dish is served at a Romani restaurant in Slovenia.
Plate of Greek food: yakhni at top center, with pork souvlaki below, mousaka (bottom left) and rice pilaf (bottom right)
Veal yahni served with rice
Romanian bean yahni served with sausages