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.
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.
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.
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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