Mulligatawny Soup

Curry. What an amazing complex flavor. Exotic and bold. One taste can virtually transport you and your taste buds to the banks of the Ganges river, watching the tour boats floating lazily downstream while you bake in the sun.

There are countless variations of curries and stews, with slight differences that speak volumes about the origin of each. Mulligatawny soup is something of an anomaly in the family of curry dishes, as soup is not a mainstay of Indian cuisines. Perhaps the English adapted this soup to their taste, combining luxurious Indian spices with a familiar preparation from back home.

Whatever the source, Mulligatawny soup is remarkable, rich, and filling. Serve it for lunch on a chilly afternoon or make it a one-dish dinner along with fresh baguette to sop up the juices. Perfect!

Mulligatawny Soup

2 T ghee (clarified butter)
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1” piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
1 t cumin
1 t turmeric
1 t ground coriander
1/2 t cayenne
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1 lb. chicken, breasts or thighs or a combination, cut into thin strips
1 can coconut milk
4 cups homemade or good quality chicken stock
1/4 c basmati rice, white or brown

  1. Put the EVOO and ghee into a heavy soup pot and turn heat to medium-high.
  2. When the oil-ghee is sizzling but not smoking, add the chopped onion, celery, garlic, and ginger, stirring and cooking until it is fragrant and the onions are transparent, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add all the spices and continue stirring and cooking until the spices are toasty and have absorbed the oil and ghee. It might get a little pasty at this point, which is fine.
  4. Add the sliced chicken to the pot and turn the heat up slightly. Cook for several minutes, stirring well to coat the chicken with the spices.
  5. When the chicken has been cooked through and no more raw meat is visible, add the coconut milk and bring the pot to a simmer, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken stock and rice and bring the soup to a low boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes.

Serve warm and enjoy!

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