Yemenite Chicken Soup

12 Nov

My dad and I were talking a few months back and he got to reminiscing about the experience he had at friends’ grandfather’s funeral in Israel. They are Sefardic Jews, mostly of Yemenite descent and their traditions, rituals, and foods are unique. My father told me about a delicious chicken soup they served that was different from any he’d ever had before. I was determined to recreate the soup for him and did my best. I referenced a website called Tender is the Steak, but I came across a couple with the same basic ingredients. My dad was pleased, as were my brother and sister-in-law, and in turn so was I!

Time: 15 min prep, 45 min cook                 Serves: 6

Ingredients


  • 3 pounds chicken parts with bones and skin (drumsticks, thighs)
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cubed
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 spring onions, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp ground cardamon
  • 1 tbsp hawaij spice blend*
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • roughly chopped fresh cilantro for serving (optional)
  • *Hawaij (a.k.a. Hawayej or Hawayij) is a Yemenite spice blend primarily used in soups. Ingredients may include: cumin, black pepper, turmeric,cardamom, ground cloves, caraway, nutmeg, saffron, coriander and ground dried onions. Another blend of the same name is used in coffee and tea.

How to make it


  • Combine all ingredients in pressure cooker. Top with water. Secure lid.
  • Bring to pressure and cook on high for 45 minutes.
  • Let the pressure cooker sit for 5 minutes. Carefully carry the cooker to the sink and run very cold water onto the top to bring the pressure down. You’ll hear the valve make a big sigh. When it’s safe to remove the lid, lift it off.
  • Be careful b/c the bones are tender from the pressure cooking. Try to pick them out as serving.
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