Saturday, January 15, 2011

I made mulligatawny

Yo everybody. I made this a looong time ago. We're talking back in October. It was DELISH, and I think I'm going to make it again soon. But it wasn't what I had in mind when I started out. After doing a little research I learned that the bright red, tomato based Indian soup I was thinking of is often called mulligatawny but is actually Rasam. That will have to be my next project, as I continue to pursue my goal of making every variety of lentil soup known to man.

I followed the recipe pretty exactly, except I had to substitute some of the harder to find ingredients. I couldn't find tamarind concentrate, so I added extra lemon juice because I think tamarind would add a kind of fruity bitterness? I used ground cardamom instead of the pods, and dried coriander instead of fresh leaves. Next time I'll have to go stock up at an Indian grocery store because I bet all those ingredients do make a big difference. But even with the substitutes, this soup had such a complex flavor! All those spices (as pictured above)! And you even through some apple in there--who would have guessed?

from Michelle Chen, author of the recipe: "Literally meaning pepper water, Mulligatawny Soup is an Anglo-Indian invention created by servants for the English Raj who demanded a soup course from a cuisine that had never produced one."


  • 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter), or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 green chile peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 4 pods cardamom, bruised
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh curry
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 apple - peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup Masoor dhal (red lentils), rinsed, drained
  • 8 cups chicken broth (I used No-Chicken broth)
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat ghee or vegetable oil in large pan (use low heat); cook onion, garlic, ginger, chilies, spices and curry leaves, stirring, until onion is browned lightly and mixture is fragrant. Do not over brown the onion or else it will give the soup a burnt taste.
  2. Add carrot, apple, potato, dhal, and chicken stock to pan; simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are just tender. Discard cardamom pods and curry leaves.
  3. Blend or process soup mixture, in batches, until pureed; return to pan. (I used an immersion blender, which worked just as well.) Add tamarind, lemon juice, coconut milk and fresh coriander leaves; stir until heated through.

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