I moved to Canada in the winter of 2008-09 after getting married. It was a brutal Canadian winter in Edmonton, especially difficult for someone who had moved from Pakistan. I had developed a bad cold before our flight and this was made worse over the long flight. I was sick and miserable in my first few days in Canada but all of that changed with a thoughtful gesture and a warm cup of “yakhni” (chicken broth). Let me share that story, along with a simple yakhni recipe.
When we get sick, we crave the love and attention of home, especially our mothers. Being in a new country far from home and away from family, I was waddling in self-pity, thinking of the many ways my family would have pampered me. My husband, despite his best intentions and attention, could not handle me in my highly emotional state. Poor guy was bringing me food from local Edmonton Pakistani restaurants, more medicines than I needed and making sure I was comfortable. It is however impossible to compete with nostalgia and that was what he was up against.
Our situation was rescued though by the thoughtfulness of someone else. Jaffar came home one day from work with tupperware full of home-cooked food and a thermos of hot yakhni! It had been lovingly sent by the wife of Jaffar’s friend at work who had heard I was sick. Home-cooked food was just what my miserable homesick soul needed. And when I poured that hot cup of yakhni and drank it, it nourished me with the love it had been prepared with. That yakhni reminded me of my parents’ place and how whenever someone was sick, a hot pot of yakhni was brewed.
Yakhni is a forever reminder of love and care of family for me. Here is the recipe that I use:
Put together some chicken bones in a pot with cut onions, ginger slices, salt, pepper, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, cardamom, cloves and coriander seeds. Add hot water and boil everything together for at least 20 minutes. Strain out the broth and pour to drink.
Hope you liked this Yakhni recipe. How do you have yours? What does it remind you of?
[Read More: Desi Totkas to fight the common cold]