Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Yakhni - Pakistani Style Chicken soup


As a kid I was not a big fan of Yakhni. My views on Yakhni have changed over last few years as I started preparing it myself with a technique similar to that of French Onion Soup. There was nothing more comforting than a steaming hot bowl of Yakhni served with lemon in the cold nights of Islamabad and London. Not just that, nothing better helps one recharge while recovering from flu and cold as well. During winter nights Yakhni was served at my mother’s house before dinner. I loved having it with a buttered chappati.  Bukhara at Pearl Continental Rawalpindi particularly served Yakhni just the way I loved it.  

This post was the very first one I did for Gawal Mandi Blog but I never got a chance to actually photograph the process. In the past two weeks, I and the better half have been sick from a pretty vicious flu virus.  Yakhni saved us as we recovered from the fatigue and exhaustion. I have made some changes to my original recipe with two more ingredients which add a gentle balance to the earthy flavor of chicken and onions. 

Ingredients:

Chicken (with bones - no skin) – 12 pieces
Onions – 2 medium - sliced
Garlic – 1 whole head 
Ginger – 1 inch long – 1 cm thick
Carrot - 2 Medium - diced
Tomato - 1 Medium - Chopped (I did not use tomato in this batch)
Bay leaves – 3 
Cloves – 7-8
Peppercorns – 1 tsp 
Cinnamon stick – 1 inch long – 2 pieces
Cumin – 1 tsp
Whole dried Coriander - 2 tsps.
Salt – 1 tsp (adjust to taste )
Oil – 3 tbsp
Water – 6 cups

Procedure: 
  1. In a stock pot heat the oil, add all the vegetables together and cook till gently brown. 
  2. Add the dry spices and cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Now add the chicken piece and brown them till evenly colored.
  4. Now add salt and 6 cups of water. 
  5. Let it boil over high heat. Once it starts boiling lower the heat and let the liquid simmer for 50 mins with the lid on. You should have about 5 cups of Yakhni. Once done, take it off the stove and let it rest for 20 mins. Check for salt, add more if needed.
  6. Use a strainer to strain the liquid in to a bowl and take out the chicken and shred it in a serving bowl. Set aside.
  7. Let the broth cool down till a layer of fat appears on the top of the bowl. Take a spoon and slowly skim it off. Once done heat it before serving.
  8. Add the hot broth to the bowl containing the shredded chicken pieces. 
  9. Serve it with a squeeze of Lemon Juice.    

    
  You can freeze it for later use, it tastes better with time. 

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