Recipe of the week: Ayurvedic ‘Jewish penicillin’ by Dr Rupy Aujla

This nourishing broth has a great collection of spices and plenty of warming flavours

Ayurvedic ‘Jewish penicillin’ by Dr Rupy Aujla
Ayurvedic ‘Jewish penicillin’, taken from Dr Rupy Cooks by Dr Rupy Aujla
(Image credit: David Loftus)

This nourishing and spicy broth is my favourite meal to prepare for the family when they need a boost, says Dr Rupy Aujla. It has a great collection of polyphenol-rich spices, anti-viral allium vegetables and plenty of warming flavours. I prefer to keep the cloves and peppercorns whole, but feel free to remove them before serving.

Ingredients: serves 2-3 people

  • 2-3 bone-in chicken thighs, skins removed and reserved (optional)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
  • 30g fresh ginger, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-5 thin slices of fresh turmeric or ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 cloves
  • small bunch of parsley, leaves and stalks chopped separately
  • 100g brown basmati rice, thoroughly rinsed
  • 1.2 litres chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 160g spring greens, finely shredded


  • If serving with crispy chicken skin, preheat the oven to 180°C fan. Spread the chicken skins flat on a baking tray, sprinkle with a little salt and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Leave to stand (they will crisp up as they cool), then season lightly and break into shards.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a deep saucepan over a medium heat, add the chicken thighs and brown all over for 5-6 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the remaining oil to the pan and fry the onion and celery for 5 minutes until softened.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, bay leaves, turmeric and whole spices and fry for a further 1 minute.
  • Add the chopped parsley stalks and rice. Return the chicken to the pan then pour over the stock. Bring to a simmer, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt to taste (it may not need it if the stock was salty).
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to cool slightly. Pull the chicken meat from the bones, roughly chop, then put into individual bowls. Check for seasoning, add the shredded greens to the pan and simmer gently for a couple of minutes until wilted, then finish with the parsley leaves.
  • Ladle the soup into the bowls and top with shards of the crispy chicken skin, if you like.
  • Substitutions: spring greens: spinach, pak choi or hispi cabbage.

Taken from Dr Rupy Cooks by Dr Rupy Aujla, published by Ebury Press at £22. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £17.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit

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