Friday, 25 November 2011

Mulligatawny Soup

Mulligatawny is curry flavoured soup of Anglo-Indian origin. Translated literally from Tamil, it means ‘pepper water’. Don’t be deceived though; this soup is far from watery. Instead it is thick and hearty and takes on an almost curry-like texture.
It’s a lovely hearty soup for the winter, full of flavour with a subtle heat from the curry powder coming through.

I don’t think there is a hard and fast rule about what needs to be added to the soup as there are countless variations of the ingredients, some which include lamb, chicken, apples or rice. Lentils was my preferred choice this round as it not only gives the soup a creamy texture but also makes it quite substantial which is perfect for a main meal. We had this for dinner tonight, with a side of toasted foccacia and a dollop of tomato jam. Perfect.                                                                     

Mulligatawny Soup

*Original recipe courtesy of We Are Never Full 

Serves 6


2 onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
1½ cup red lentils
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1 cinnamon stick
1 inch ginger, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp turmeric
3 tbsp curry powder
6-8 cups vegetable/chicken stock
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Juice of one lemon/lime
Optional: coriander leaves, yoghurt, cream

  1. Crush ginger and garlic using a pestle and mortar. Mix coriander seeds, cumin and black pepper and crush with pestle and mortar and set aside
  2. Fry onions, carrots and celery in a large pot with a drizzle of olive oil for 5 minutes. Add garlic paste and fry for another 30 seconds. Add the mixed spice, cinnamon stick, turmeric and curry powder and coat vegetables evenly.
  3. Add in the chopped tomatoes and lentils. Pour in 6 cups of stock, stir and let soup simmer for 40 minutes, or until lentils are soft.
  4. Remember to remove cinnamon stick prior to blending the soup. If it is too thick, add stock or water until desired consistency is achieved.
  5. Serve with a squeeze of lemon/lime, chopped coriander and cream/yoghurt.

Spicy, hearty soup ready, with a slice of lemon.


  1. I never knew exactly what mullingatawny soup thanks for the explanation! It looks delish...perfect for a cold day. And I'm a huge fan of lentils...yum!

  2. Looks gorgeous! I haven't had a good Mulligatawny soup in ages! :)

  3. Lizzy: Its my pleasure :) I love lentils too!

    Kiri: Thank you! :)You should make some soon!

  4. Excited! I'm trying this for dinner tonight. Do you mind if I repost your recipe on my blog? (providing a link to your site, of course!)

  5. Rebecca: Yes that's fine :) I hope it goes well and you love it as much as I do!

  6. It was delicious! Thank You! I will let you know when I post. It will be ASAP as this was so good. I needed a meal like this tonight :) My only concern, it was a bit bitter. I ended up adding unsweetened coconut milk at the end which seemed to cut the bitterness. Do you think that would be from one of the spices? Thanks, again!

  7. Hmm.. I hope you remembered to remove the cinnamon stick before blending the soup :p Otherwise maybe try reducing the amount of spices or let it fry a bit longer?

    Looking forward to reading your post! x

  8. Posted!