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Mulligatawny became a part of Indian cuisine when British soldiers stationed there wanted a soup course.  The result was  “pepper soup” (mulligatawny) and like most regional favorites, every cook seems to have a family version.  Some use meat or poultry while others are vegetarian, but most use lentils or rice to make it smooth and creamy.   This tasty version includes chicken and lentils.  The lentils are pureed for a nice creamy base – even “bean-haters” will love it.  Serve it alone or over brown rice for an even heartier meal.

How Nutritious is Mulligatawny?

  • Onions, garlic, turmeric and ginger are natural anti-inflammatories.
  • Lentils and lean chicken provide lots of good protein.
  • Lentils and onions (and brown rice) are good sources of fiber.

 Ingredients for Mulligatawny

  • 1 whole chicken, poached (learn how to do this here)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • fresh ginger, minced (about the size of a quarter – or larger if you like ginger)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 teaspoons curry powder (your choice, spicy or mild)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1-2 teaspoons sambal oelek, or other hot sauce (optional – or serve on the side)
  • 2 cups dried red lentils
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • diced meat from the chicken
  • 1 cup to 1 full can  unsweetened coconut milk (also optional)
  • juice of one fresh lime.
  • Cooked brown rice, optional.

Method for Mulligatawny

  • Prepare chicken and stock per instructions (or use cooked, shredded chicken breasts and 8 cups canned chicken stock)

cover chicken with cold water remove from hot water and allow to cool shred meat strain and chill stock, then remove fat

  • Heat a large, heavy bottomed pot to medium high.  When hot, add 2-3 tablespoons oil, and the onions and sauté until they start to soften and become translucent.

add the garlic

  • Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, coriander and curry powder.  Cook 3-4 minutes longer.

add the spices

  • Add red lentils and toss with onion mixture.

add the lentils

  • Add chicken stock, stir to combine, bring to a low simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until lentils are cooked through (soft).

cook lentils until tender

  • Stir in coconut milk if using.

stir coconut milk into the soup

  • Working in batches (do not crowd the blender) puree the mixture to desired texture.  An emersion blender is also great for this job but it won’t be quite as smooth (you may prefer it that way).

puree the soup in batches

  • Return the pot to heat, gently return to a low simmer, add the chicken, lime juice and sambal oelek.  Season with salt and pepper and more sambal if you like.

gently heat and serve

  • Serve plain or over rice or couscous.

A Great Soup for a Chilly Winter Night.

Tips:  Don’t eat chicken?  Just substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock and omit the chicken – this is great too.

Bon Appetit Y’all.



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