Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mulligatawny soup

I would call it Westernized Indian soup. This is the weirdest and among the most delicious soups I ever cooked. Deceptively looking, the soup is full-bodied, medium-heat, awesome porridge you will hopefully enjoy again and again.

Blog's Category: International, Vegetarian


To be honest, firstly this recipe got my attention because of its name - Mulligatawny Soup which means "pepper soup". Well, it's much more than pepper - it's garam masala, apples and tons of other stuff in it. How often you see apples in a soup recipe? And that is the second factor that drew my interest.

It's a lot of recipes for Mulligatawny soup out there. But I noticed that common among them is using garam masala, apples, lentils and cilantro. Usually, it's pretty lengthy list of ingredients for this soup. Keeping in mind that I really don't like that, it's understandable why I decided to go my own route.

Recipe below is the fusion recipe I put together to fit my family taste. It may be a good fit for you too. Would you like to try?

What is it?

It is a lot going on here - quite a few vegetables, some fruits (apples!), lentils, rice and nuts. All of these are flavored with garam masala, black pepper, garlic, ginger and cilantro. There is a lot of bold boost from ghee and chicken stock.

Taste Description

- Smooth and comforting texture
- Just right level of spiciness
- Harmonious combination of flavors - garam masala is not intrusive at all (it was my point of concern), gentle barely noticeable apple nuances.
- Roasted cashews on top, adds fun, texture and another layer of flavor to a soup.
- Cilantro is fresh and powerful accent to all those comforting features of Mulligatawny soup.

How to Serve

Serve warm, garnished with roasted cashews and chopped cilantro.

Mulligatawny Soup

For about 6 servings:
  • 7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1" ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped/diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 0.5 c dry rice, rinsed
  • 0.5 c red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 tbs ghee (or olive oil)
  • 1 tbs garam masala
  • 1 tsp or so salt
  • 1-2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 0.5 - 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 0.5 c cashew pieces, roasted
  • 1/4 c cilantro, chopped
  • 2 chicken broth cubes (0.5" x 0.5")
  • about 1.5 liters of water
- Do all chopping first (chop apples at the last turn to avoid getting them oxidized too much).

- In a large pot, on a medium heat, melt ghee and cook garlic and ginger for one minute.

- Add onion, carrots, celery, potato and sweet potato. Cook, stirring, for two minutes or so.

- Add the rest of ingredients, except cashew, vinegar and cilantro. Bring to a boil then, right away, reduce heat to simmering. Cook, with a lid half-ajar, about 40 minutes or until potato, and rice is completely soft and lentils are almost disintegrated.

- Add apple cider vinegar, adjust salt, add some water if needed. Bring to a boil, turn heat off - it's done!

- Enjoy with some cashew and cilantro served on top!


FYI: ghee is among the healthiest fats around for cooking. Here is how to make it at home.

You see everything in a larger quantities on my pictures here because I was making double batch (ended up with a large pot of soup, although I suspect it will be gone anyway in a couple of days)

For efficiency's sake I rinse rice and lentils all together.

Apples, the strangest element of this soup (but essential one) is going in.

This time I decided to "play by the rules" and peel tomatoes. It's easy - with a tip of knife, make crisscross cut on a top of tomato. Then pour boiling water from a kettle over and let it seat there for a minute. Fish them out, skin will easily come off.



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