Mulligatawny soup the taste of India in a soup
This soup recipe is so delicious that we know that it’ll become a firm favourite and you are going to want to cook it again and again.
The curry powder flavours that are brought together makes it one of our most favourite soup recipes.
It’s also ideal to batch cook and freeze too, making it really easy to enjoy whenever you want.
You’ll find that it becomes one of your favourites when cooking an Indian meal and entertaining friends.
What does mulligatawny mean?
This is a rich tasting soup and you’ll usually find that it contains chicken stock but so it’s good for vegetarians and vegans alike, we’ve used vegetable stock.
It’s an old word from the 1700’s, apparently originating from the Tamil region and simply means ‘pepper water‘ but make no mistake, the flavours are so much more complex than that!
Does mulligatawny soup have a hot and spicy taste?
No it doesn’t. It’s actually spiced with curry powder and a little black pepper to taste but there’s not a great heat to it.
Other spices that are used in mulligatawny are cumin, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, ground black pepper to taste and garlic cloves (yes, we know garlic isn’t a spice).
So as you can see, nothing too hot in that ingredient list, although if you have a sensitivity then we suggest adding cautiously and tasting regularly.
You can always add in more coconut milk if you want to tame the spice even more and coconut milk makes the soup go further and gives a better flavour than simply adding water.
Does it matter what lentils you use for mulligatawny soup?
We think so, yes. We use masoor dal in this recipe, which simply means ‘red lentils‘.
You’ll find that some recipes don’t even use lentils in their ingredients at all, making it a smoother consistency but we prefer our mulligatawny to have a bit of thickness to it.
If you don’t have red lentils then you could replace them with rice, that would work, it’ll give a different taste but it’ll still be good.
Wait, you put apples in it?
Yes, you heard right, we put apples in the soup.
Why apples? They become similar to sweetened potato chunks, trust us, they do work!
If you don’t have any apples, feel free to replace them with potatoes.
Super easy way to make mulligatawny both vegetarian and vegan
One of the many great things about Indian food is that there are a lot of vegetarian dishes.
As we’ve already said, a traditional mulligatawny recipe is made with chicken stock or chicken broth and even with a little chicken meat also.
To make this recipe vegetarian, then simply use vegetable stock or broth.
And to make it suitable for vegans, then simply replace the butter with vegan butter or olive oil – it really is as simple as this and it will taste amazing and become amongst their favourites!
If you are hankering after an even more filling soup then why not add in potatoes?
Is this Indian soup easy to make?
Yes, it most certainly is!
Of course you have to prep your ingredients, starting with the vegetables.
You’ll need to chop your onion, dice your carrot, peel and mince your ginger and then you’ll have to peel, core and dice the apple.
If you want to bulk it out even more then simply add more carrots, apples and you could throw in some celery too.
How long does mulligatawny soup take to cook?
Once you’ve prepared all of the vegetables and ingredients, then it’s all very straightfoward.
It takes around 25 minutes to prepare and it cooks in around 40 minutes, giving you one hour in total.
Can you freeze this soup?
Yes, this is a fantastic soup for freezing. This recipe makes 8 portions.
You can get ahead by making a double batch of it. Once it’s cooled own, put it into freezer bags and freeze.
We recommend laying the freezer bags flat, as this increases the room in your freezer, but don’t forget to write down what the soup is and the date you made it because you will forget what it is!
Store cupboard food just got even more interesting
The great thing about this Indian soup is that you can substitute things from your cupboard or your pantry.
If you don’t have any fresh apples then you can use tamarind paste or sauce.
If you’re out of coconut cream then you can use fresh cream instead, you can really play around with this dish.
Perfect things to serve with mulligatawny soup
This tasty soup lends itself to being served with a lot of different food.
Rice is the obvious choice, white or brown rice would complement it.
Bread is absolutely wonderful when dipped in this delicious soup.
Roti, chapati and naan Indian bread would take your soup to another level.
You may even want to serve some raitas and mango chutney and make it into part of an Indian thali platter.
Do I need any special equipment to make this soup?
You will need a blender to be able to blend it after you’ve cooked it.
It doesn’t need to be a food processor and it can even be a stick blender, as long as you can blend your soup then that’s enough.
The only other piece of equipment that you’ll need in your kitchen is a large pan. We used a casserole dish or Dutch oven but you could cook this in a large saucepan that has a lid.
Remember to garnish your soup
Once you’ve dished up your soup into a bowl, don’t forget the garnish!
We’ve used spring onions (scallions) and cashew nuts to garnish our soup.
They give a delicious crunch to it and we think you’ll love them.
You could garnish with a little yogurt or sour cream, using vegetarian or vegan yogurt if you prefer.
Also coriander, if you pick the leaves off the coriander stalk and sprinkle them on the top, only chop them if you prefer.
How do I make it from scratch?
If you follow our easy step by step guide then you can’t go wrong.
If you are an international visitor who uses the cup measurement system, then don’t worry, we have a clever button underneath the ingredients list that you can press and it’ll instantly convert them for you.
Please do leave a comment, rate our recipe and let us know how you enjoyed it.
Recipe notes and tips
Run out of turmeric? Check out our useful substitute for turmeric guide.
- Casserole dish or Dutch oven
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
- 75 g Red lentils (uncooked)
- 32 g Butter
- 1 Onion
- 2 Green jalapeno peppers
- 1 Carrot
- 3 Cloves of garlic
- 2 tsp Minced ginger
- 2 Apples
- 400 g Chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Curry powder
- ½ tsp Paprika
- ½ tsp Ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp Ground cumin
- ¼ tsp Ground cardamom
- ½ tsp Ground turmeric
- ½ tsp Thyme
- ¼ tsp Ground black pepper
- 750 ml Vegetable stock or broth
- 400 ml Coconut milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Spring onions or scallions to garnish – optional
- Cashew nuts to garnish – optional
- First prepare your vegetables
- Peel and chop your onion then deseed and dice the jalapeno peppers
- Peel your garlic and then peel, core and dice your apples
- Peel and dice your carrot
- Rinse your lentils until the water running through them is clear (this can take a little while)
- Now it's time to cook!
- In your casserole dish melt the butter on a medium to high heat.
- Then add in the onions, jalapeno peppers and carrots and you'll need to sauté them until the onions have softened which usually takes around 4 minutes, making sure that you stir them
- Now it's time to add in the ginger, garlic, chopped tomatoes and apples and you'll need to sauté them for around 3-4 minutes, keep stirring all the while
- Add in the lentils and also the stock or broth, give it a good stir and then bring it to a boil
- Once it's boiled, bring the heat down to a simmer and leave it for 30 minutes uncovered
- Once it's cooked, put around 80% of the mixture into the blender and give it a good old blitz. You only want to do 80% because it's good to leave some chunks in the soup
- Put the pureed soup back in the pot and then if you'd like, add in some coconut milk
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Transfer to bowls and garnish with a handful of cashew nuts and sliced spring onions or scallions
- Serve and enjoy!