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Mulligatawny chicken soup recipe

Mulligatawny chicken soup recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Cuts of chicken
  • Chicken breast

A very filling curry soup, made with chicken, vegetables, apple, fresh spinach, coconut milk and rice.

1 person made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 1 Granny Smith apple, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 175g seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 (400ml) tin coconut milk
  • 60g fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander, or to taste
  • 500g cooked jasmine rice
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

MethodPrep:35min ›Cook:24min ›Ready in:59min

  1. Combine apple, onion, celery, carrot, jalapeno pepper, ginger, curry powder, garlic, garam masala and crushed chilli flakes in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and saute until starting to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Pour chicken stock and tomatoes into the pot. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer; add chicken breasts and cover. Cook over medium heat until chicken is cooked through but still tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Shred the chicken in the pot. Stir in coconut milk and spinach. Remove soup from heat as soon as spinach begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Garnish with fresh coriander. Divide cooked rice between 8 serving bowls and ladle soup on top. Place a wedge of lime for squeezing into the soup on the side of each bowl.

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Madhur Jaffrey's Mulligatawny Soup

    12 oz red split lentils
    2 qts chicken stock
    1 tsp ground tumeric
    8 oz (200 g) potatoes
    10 cloves garlic, peeled
    3 in. ginger, peeled and coarsely grated
    9 TBS water plus 16 oz
    14 oz chicken breast or thigh (I used thigh), boned and skinned
    2 1/2 tsp salt, divided
    Freshly ground black pepper
    3 TBS canola oil or other vegetable oil
    2 tsp ground cumin
    2 tsp ground coriander
    1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne
    About 2 TBS lemon juice


Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup! Now that's a tongue twister and a mouthful! A soup of Tamil origin, called Millagu (pepper) Thanni (water), as per lovefood.com it was originally consumed by the poor in Sri Lanka. Thin, watery and bland, the original is a far cry from the thick rich version being presented in this recipe.

The Anglo Indian Version

Soups have historically not been a part of South Asian Cuisine. However, during the time of the British Raj, the Expatriates of the East India Company wanted a soup to be served at dinner. Indian cooks took the Tamil pepper water and recreated Mulligatawny Soup. A creamy and dense soup thickened with lentils and rice and seasoned with traditional Indian spices, Mulligatawny Soup definitely has a unique taste.

Global Popularity

As the expatriates living in India took the recipe back to their homeland the soup gained popularity in Britain. In 1810, immigrant Dean Mahomed opened The Hindostanee Coffee-House in London. Per livehistoryindia.com there was Mulligatawny Soup on the menu at the establishment that the nobility at the time frequented.

By the 19th Century the soup was a household feature in Great Britain. The Heinz company was selling tins of the soup in grocery stores and Mulligatawny soup was more popular here than in India.

Assorted Recipe Variations

With the passage of time there were many variations of the soup. Assorted Meats, vegetables and at times even apples were added to the stock. Heavy whipping cream and sour cream were sometimes used in place of coconut milk to finish the soup off at the end. Even today, if you search for the recipe you'll find that each one is different.

My Story

By now you've probably figured out that I love lentils! Check out my dhaba style maash daal and my hyderabadi khatti (sour) daal (lentils) if you haven't already! Keeping in mind all of my healthy eating resolutions I thought cooking lentils was a great way to kickstart 2021!

My favorite version of this soup is one I ate weekly at Sindh Club. The British left Pakistan with Chicken Mulligatawny Soup and the concept of Clubs. The equivalent of a country club in America with a gym, swimming pool, library and restaurant, these clubs are where the old and young in Pakistan socialize.

My family had weekly Sunday dinner at Sind Club and I always (and I mean always) ordered the Chicken Mulligatawny Soup. I often crave this soup but unfortunately it isn't something that's easily available where I live. I've spent years trying to perfect this recipe and get it as close as I can to the one of my childhood.

Per my husband, at who's request I recently made the soup, I almost have the recipe down! Apart from getting a first hand tutorial from the chef at Sind Club, this is as close as I think I'll get so in my book the recipes a keeper! I hope you like it as much as I do!

The Recipe

I think the main thing that makes or breaks a good Mulligatawny Soup is the lentils you use. Each type of lentil is delicious (and there are so many) but in this soup, after trial and error the split pigeon peas are undeniably the way to go!

Most recipes say to use red lentils but I just didn't get that dense texture that I remember the soup at Sind Club had with those so experimented till I found the perfect ones!

The spices in this recipe are not supposed to make the soup spicy but just fragrant. The curry powder is a must! Luckily it's available at most grocery stores now a days! I got a Madras Hot Curry Powder from my local Walmart but any type will work.

Similarly, the Bay Leaves add a great fragrance to the soup but do remember to pluck them out at the end as they won't blend properly at the puree stage. Since the curry leaves are very tender and blend well you can leave them in.

Cooking the actual soup is fairly simple as illustrated below:

Heat the oil and sauté the onions, ginger, garlic and chillies.

Add all your ingredients to make your soup. As it starts to thicken will absorb the color of the lentils and spices as shown below.

Puree the soup and add the coconut milk to give it a smooth creamy finish and don't forget your toppings!


Mulligatawny Soup

The recipe calls for a few teaspoons of flour to help thicken the soup. However, if you are gluten intolerant, there are a few simple substitutions you can do. Firstly, you can opt to simply leave it out completely and just be sure to use heavy cream (not half and half). The cream will keep the soup thick.

Another option is to use arrowroot or potato starch (not cornstarch), but instead of adding it at the first of the recipe, wait until the soup is done. If you feel you would like it thicker, follow the directions on the package for thickening soups. I would suggest mixing 1 tsp arrowroot with 2 tsp cold water together and adding it to the soup.

If you love the flavor of curry powder, you’re sure to be a fan of Mulligatawny Soup. Even if you aren’t a huge curry fan, I’d venture to guess you still might really like it. While you can taste the curry, the sweetness of the other ingredients takes the edge off a bit, so to speak.

Curry powder is a blend of spices including turmeric, ginger, coriander, cumin, mustard seed, and can include other spices to give it more heat. The main spice is turmeric, which gives it that famous bright yellow color. You can make your own curry powder, but it’s much easier to simply stock up and grab a bottle at the grocery store.

It’s also important to note that while curry powder is often used in conjunction with hot, peppery spices, the curry itself is not spicy. This Mulligatawny Soup, for example, has zero spice, so it is perfect for children as well as adults who don’t love spice.


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot Madras curry powder, (see Tip)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup white basmati rice
  • 12 ounces chicken breast tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup “lite” coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted (see Tip), optional

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and garlic cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add apples, curry powder, cumin, coriander and ginger and cook, stirring often, until the apples begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add broth and rice bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 12 minutes.

Add chicken, return to a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender, 8 to 10 minutes more. Stir

in coconut milk and return to a simmer. Remove from the heat stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper. Garnish with almonds (if using).

Tips: Hot Madras curry powder, located in the spice aisle of most supermarkets, adds a pleasant level of heat. Substitute regular curry powder for a milder soup.

To toast chopped nuts: Cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.


Mulligatawny Soup

Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 2 readers

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

  • 4 tablespoons/80ml/3flozs. oil
  • 3 onions, peeled and diced
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 50g/1.7ozs. butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 500g/1.1lbs. raw chicken tenderloins, cut into bite sized pieces or around 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 4 cups/1 litre chicken stock
  • 1/2-1 cup/100-200g/3.5-7ozs uncooked rice (depending on how thick you want it)
  • 1/2 cup/125ml/4flozs. cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to season

Step 1 - Heat oil in a large cast iron pot with a lid and sauté the onions, celery and carrots and curry powder until softened-it will take around 5-8 minutes or so as there's quite a lot of them. Add the butter and melt and then add the flour and coat the mixture in the flour.

Step 2 - Add the chicken, chicken stock and rice and place the lid on and bring to a boil. Stir a few times and simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on to cook the rice. Add the cream, sugar and season with salt and pepper.


Ingredient Notes

Chicken: You can use boneless chicken breast or chicken thighs here. I most often use chicken breast, myself. Alternately, if you have leftover cooked chicken, you can skip the chicken cooking stage. Meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken would also work.

Curry Paste: I love Madras Curry Paste for this soup. I find it a bit more complex in its flavour, than curry powder. I use Patak's™ brand myself, which is easily found in the with Indian curry pastes and sauces at most grocery stores.

If you'd like to use a curry powder instead, the amount needed will vary, but as a general rule, substitute about 1 teaspoon of curry powder for 1 Tablespoon of curry paste.

You don't want to use Thai curry pastes here, as the flavour profile is different.

Ginger: I'm a big fan of ginger paste and I always have a tube in my fridge. If you don't, substitute ginger powder (just needs a bit) or fresh grated ginger.

Rice: I use basmati rice. You can use white or brown. A long-grain rice would work as well. As noted above, an alternative to rice in this soup would be red split lentils.

Apple: Any apple is fine here. I shred the peeled apple with a box grater.

Cilantro: Hate cilantro? Feel free to skip it or substitute some parsley, for colour.

Coconut Milk: You can use regular or "lite" coconut milk. The lite version will make a slightly less creamy soup.

The 2/3 cup measurement is exactly equal the the mini (160ml) cans of coconut milk that are available from Thai Kitchen™, so if you have one of those you just add the whole can. If starting with a regular sized can of coconut milk, you'll want to empty it out into a bowl and stir well before measuring out the 2/3 cup needed for the soup.

Top Tip! Coconut milk freezes well, so if you have only used part of a can, pour the remainder into a zipper-type plastic bag and freeze. I like to grab my sharpie and label the bag with the contents and approximate amount before adding to the bag, because even though you're sure that you'll know what it is later, my experience is not so much :)


What Is Mulligatawny Soup?

Mulligatawny Soup is a traditional curry soup with origins in Indian cuisine made with meat or chicken. There are so many different variations of this Mulligatawny soup, so this is just my version of this amazing soup.

I like my soups thick and creamy so they’re perfect for dipping your crusty bread in.


What is Mulligatawny soup?

Mulligatawny soup has its origins in South Indian cuisine, and the name comes from two Tamil words meaning pepper water. The original mulligatawny was thin and made with vegetables, Madras curry and coconut. It became fashionable when the British took a fancy to it during the days of colonial rule in India. They made several modifications to it, one of them being the addition of meat. In its present avatar, therefore, mulligatawny is a fusion soup of sorts. I find the history utterly fascinating!


Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

Kohlrabi is a vegetable in the cabbage family. Its name is derived from the Austrian term “kohlrübe,” meaning, literally, “cabbage turnip,” because of its turnip-like bulb with cabbage-like greens. Here, we’re saluting its mild, crisp flavor and texture by featuring it in mulligatawny, an Anglo-Indian soup. Spiced to perfection and topped with toasted coconut, this rice-and-chicken meal is as warming as a hearth in winter.

Title

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and thinly slice the carrot into rounds. Halve the kohlrabi lengthwise cut each half into small wedges then thinly slice. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems discard the stems. Using a peeler, remove the rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter the lime.

In a medium pot, heat half the ghee and 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the lime zest and a big pinch of the spice blend. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant and the spices are toasted. Add the rice, a big pinch of salt and 1½ cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 13 to 15 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat. Fluff the finished rice with a fork.

While the rice cooks, heat a large, dry pot on medium until hot. Add the coconut flakes and toast, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Wipe out the pot.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In the same pot used to toast the coconut, heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook, stirring occasionally to brown all sides, 3 to 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to a bowl, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pot.

Add 2 teaspoons of oil and the remaining ghee and spice blend to the pot of reserved chicken fond. Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the carrot, kohlrabi and onion season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the raisins, cooked chicken (along with any juices from the bowl), coconut milk and 1 cup of water. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 12 to 14 minutes, or until slightly thickened. (Be careful not to boil the soup, as the coconut milk may separate.) Remove from heat.

Off the heat, stir the juice of all 4 lime wedges into the soup season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the rice and soup between 2 bowls. Garnish with the cilantro and toasted coconut flakes. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

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Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and thinly slice the carrot into rounds. Halve the kohlrabi lengthwise cut each half into small wedges then thinly slice. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems discard the stems. Using a peeler, remove the rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter the lime.

In a medium pot, heat half the ghee and 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the lime zest and a big pinch of the spice blend. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant and the spices are toasted. Add the rice, a big pinch of salt and 1½ cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 13 to 15 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat. Fluff the finished rice with a fork.

While the rice cooks, heat a large, dry pot on medium until hot. Add the coconut flakes and toast, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Wipe out the pot.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In the same pot used to toast the coconut, heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook, stirring occasionally to brown all sides, 3 to 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to a bowl, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pot.

Add 2 teaspoons of oil and the remaining ghee and spice blend to the pot of reserved chicken fond. Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the carrot, kohlrabi and onion season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the raisins, cooked chicken (along with any juices from the bowl), coconut milk and 1 cup of water. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 12 to 14 minutes, or until slightly thickened. (Be careful not to boil the soup, as the coconut milk may separate.) Remove from heat.

Off the heat, stir the juice of all 4 lime wedges into the soup season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the rice and soup between 2 bowls. Garnish with the cilantro and toasted coconut flakes. Enjoy!


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Watch the video: Chicken Mulligatawny Soup (September 2021).