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.
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.
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
- Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic, chili, onion, ginger and spices and fry gently for 7 minutes.
- Add the carrot, apple, potato, broth and lentils.
- Stir, bring to a boil then reduce heat and let it simmer for 25 minutes.
- Transfer the soup to a blender and puree on a low setting ’til smooth.
- Pour back into saucepan, stir in coconut milk, lemon juice and cilantro/coriander. Serve.