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Mulligatawny Soup

November 30, 2010

Pronouncing this Anglo-Indian soup is the most difficult part of it. It was love at first bite when I was presented a bowl of this fine soup on Thanksgiving Day as a light lunch before the big dinner to come. Jody served it with apple pieces on top and said she’s made many variations of it. Her recipe and notes are as follows. 

This is the original recipe from 2000 or so when we first started making it.  In “Joy of Cooking” it calls for ginger, coconut milk and rice already cooked.  Erma doesn’t cook the apples, but serves raw pieces and cilantro as toppings.  In my current, combined version, I add cooked brown rice, more curry and just non-fat half and half or milk.  I can’t really taste the coconut milk… 

Well, the only curry powder I had was spicy so I thought using coconut milk might mellow the spice. Having made it myself I can see how this recipe can easily be changed to your preference.

According to Wikipedia, translated literally from Tamil, “Mulligatawny” means “pepper water” (“Millagu” மிளகு means pepper and “Thanni” தண்ணீர் means water). The dish the Anglo-Indians call “pepper water” is actually closer to Tamilian ரசம்-rasam (pronounced Russ-um) than “mulligatawny”.

Mulligatawny Soup

2 medium onions, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1/2 pound boneless chicken or lamb, diced
3 T. butter and or oil
3 T. Flour
2 t. curry powder ( or more, to taste)
4 cups chicken stock
1 tart apple, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup raw brown rice
1/2 cup coconut milk, half and half, cream or milk
salt and pepper to taste

1. Saute onions, carrot, celery and chicken in butter &/or oil 3 minutes, turning frequently.  Sprinkle with flour and curry powder and saute 1 minute longer; do not burn curry.
2.  Add stock, stir well and bring to a boil.   Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes.
3.  Add apple and rice.  Simmer 15 minutes longer or until rice is done. (I cooked the brown rice ahead of time and used apple as a garnish)
4.  Stir in coconut milk and cook over low heat until heated through; do not boil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Onions, celery, carrots and chicken all cook together in a little olive oil and butter

Add flour and curry powder. Sannam peppers make this darker and spicier than sweet curry powder

Cook for a few minutes, stirring so curry powder doesn’t burn but flour is cooked

Add brown rice and simmer for 30 minutes

I used coconut milk but you can use half and half, milk or cream

Blessing for eating food with apples

The Lord is good to me.
And so I thank the Lord,
for giving me the things I need:
the sun and the rain and the apple seed.
The Lord is good to me.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Ifaat Bosse permalink
    November 30, 2010 9:12 pm

    Thanks Amy. This looks great and can’t wait to try it.


    • December 1, 2010 10:29 am

      Ifaat – thanks for checking out my blog. Let me know if you make the soup and how you like it. Hope to see you soon. Amy

  2. Jacqueline Allen permalink
    December 1, 2010 12:11 am

    That looks great. By the way, for those of us who only rarely make our own chicken soup, is there a brand of ready made chicken stock that you like? Some of them are less than delicious. 🙂

    • December 1, 2010 10:29 am

      I have found that those in the asepic boxes are not very good so stick to the canned, low sodium broth. Whatever is on sale 🙂 The other flavors really cover any chickeny flavor. I make my own broth/stock otherwise. Hope you try it and like it. Amy

  3. Sally E. permalink
    December 1, 2010 8:12 am

    Amy: What a great recipe. It sounds especially good since I’m watching the snow fall outside my window. And it has the extra of the Johnny Appleseed blessing. My family sung that before dinner every night of my childhood. Thanks!

    • December 1, 2010 10:27 am

      Sal – We sang Johnny Appleseed at camp 🙂 good memories. It think you’ll like this soup. It’s hearty but light, if you can have both at the same time. xx Amy

  4. Claudia permalink
    January 14, 2011 5:16 pm

    Hi Amy – just read through your Mulligatawny Soup and can’t wait to try it. Photos are beautiful. The apples blessing you shared is something I grew up with at summer camp! We still sing it at least once a year when we’re all there for family camp over Labor Day weekend!

    • January 14, 2011 5:31 pm

      Yeah Claudia!! Thanks for reading 🙂 I’m glad you like the photos and the blessing brought back good memories.

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