Mulligatawny Soup Recipe

Janette Fuschi | Culinary Ginger

Mulligatawny soup is a curry-based Indian influenced, thick and vibrantly flavored soup. With chicken, vegetables, basmati rice and Indian spices, this soup is a delicious blend of East meets West.

Indian cuisine is the most enjoyed food in the U.K, from curries to tandoori chicken. The Indian influence stems from when Britain ruled the Indian subcontinent from the late 1800’s until 1947, so in addition to the mulligatawny, other dishes like chutneys and kedgeree (a curried rice and fish dish) were born.

Mulligatawny soup is the lesser popular item on Indian restaurant menus, but it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves because it is so good and it could not be easier to make.

Mulligatawny Soup Picture

The mulligatawny name originates from the Tamil words, millagai/milagu and thanni, roughly translated as ‘pepper water’.

Lamb or chicken is typically used in mulligatawny soup and there are many variations on the original that can include adding coconut milk, other Indian spices, lentils and chickpea flour to thicken. I used canned chickpeas, as they are more readily available than chickpea flour and since some of the soup is blended, as well as the addition of basmati rice, the chickpeas along with the rice do a great job of thickening the soup.

Mulligatawny Soup Image

Other vegetables can be added, but the typical mirepoix or trinity of onions, carrots and celery are always used as the base of the recipe. An element of sweetness is also added, sometimes in the form of an Indian chutney, but using a sweet red apple is perfectly acceptable as I did in this recipe.

It’s all about simplicity with mulligatawny soup and using ingredients that are available in the Western world is more convenient to us, rather than having to seek out some of the more exotic, Indian ingredients.

Mulligatawny Soup Pic

There’s no mistaking a dish that has curry and turmeric powder added, and this mulligatawny soup is certainly distinct in its golden yellow hue.

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Mulligatawny Soup Recipe

    4 Servings


  • 1 14 ounce can Chickpeas
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 stalks Celery, chopped small
  • 2 medium Carrots, chopped small
  • 1 clove Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon Mild Curry Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Red Apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup Cooked Basmati Rice
  • Fresh Cilantro, chopped for garnish


  1. Add the chickpeas to a blender with 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  2. To a soup pan add 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the chicken breast and brown. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining oil and butter over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until they start to soften.
  4. Add the celery, carrots, garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute then stir in the curry, turmeric, cumin powder and salt, cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add the apple, chickpea purée and rest of the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. To make the soup thicker, remove 2 ladles of soup and blend or use an immersion hand blender to blend up some of the apple while still keeping the soups chunky texture.
  6. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
  7. Turn off the heat and stir in the cooked basmati rice. Serve warm garnished with chopped cilantro.


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Related Recipes:
British Recipes, Indian Recipes, Soup Recipes, Easy Dinner Recipes, Winter Recipes, Curry Recipes, Chicken Recipes, Carrot Recipes, Onion Recipes, Apple Recipes, Chickpea Recipes, Simmered Recipes
Recipe Yields:
4 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Author: Janette Fuschi
Recipe Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 104
Calories 495

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g
  Saturated Fat 4g
Sodium 1741mg
Total Carbohydrate 62g
  Dietary Fiber 6g
  Sugars 4g
Protein 20g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Janette Fuschi

About Janette

Janette is a British ex-pat living in Southern California. On her blog, Culinary Ginger, you'll learn all about it. On Food Fanatic, you'll see her favorite British classics, and ours too!