Mulligatawny Soup

handy tip – use lemon juice to remove turmeric stains

Mullagatawny Soup is what happens when you take a culture’s cuisine (in this case India) and bring in a colonial ruling power (in this case Britain) who take one look at said cuisine and start moaning that it doesn’t have a soup course.

(in their defence, they were probably cranky already what with the sweltering heat and lack of decent pubs).

Back in the days when India was a part of the British empire, the Brits decided their native dishes just weren’t English enough and Mullagatawny was created as a way to bridge the gap.

According to wikipedia it translates as “pepper water” but don’t let that put you off – there’s a hint of spice but it’s not burn-your-face-off-overpowering.

This is a lentil based soup made interesting by a mixture of spices such as cumin, cardamon and turmeric and some, frankly quite random, ingredients such as apple and carrot.

fruit in soup, it’s just weird

Mine’s vegetarian but you can add in chicken if you like your meaty protein.

If you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out. Whatever your thoughts on the Brits and colonisation, you have to admit…those guys knew their soups.

this is a mug, but also a bowl. The marvels of modern engineering

Mulligatawny Soup (serves 4)

  • 2 tbsps coconut oil
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tsps fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 bird’s eye chili pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red lentils, dried
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 potato (sweet or white), peeled and chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsps cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsps turmeric
  • 2 tsps cardamon
  • 4 cups vegetable (or chicken if you are going non-veggie) broth
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon (about 4 tsps)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro/coriander, finely chopped
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic, chili, onion, ginger and spices and fry gently for 7 minutes.

    like this

  2. Add the carrot, apple, potato, broth and lentils.
  3. Stir, bring to a boil then reduce heat and let it simmer for 25 minutes.

    innocent apple and potato, unaware of the blending horror ahead

  4. Transfer the soup to a blender and puree on a low setting ’til smooth.
  5. Pour back into saucepan, stir in coconut milk, lemon juice and cilantro/coriander. Serve.

    here it is again, looking more fancy


16 thoughts on “Mulligatawny Soup

  1. I do love this soup and used to make it a lot when I was married to a Brit…needless to say I haven’t made it for quite a few years and had forgotten about it. As winter is almost here for me, I think it’s time to put it back on the menu…you leave bad husbands behind..never good food 🙂

    • That is a brilliant motto – you should get it on a t-shirt fast before someone (me) steals the idea, devises a brilliant marketing campaign, sells millions and retires to a beach house in Maui.


      Enjoy the soup and good luck for the winter (shudder), hate that time of year!

  2. Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    “This is a lentil based soup made interesting by a mixture of spices such as cumin, cardamon and turmeric and some, frankly quite random, ingredients such as apple and carrot.” This description from Ms. Cat is spot on. This soup is delicious too. Thank you “Things My Belly Likes”.

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