Mulligatawny Soup is a familiar soup to all Brits in the UK. My first visit to an Indian Restaurant in London and the only soup available was Mulligatawny soup, Which was served with Nan Bread and Basmati rice. In UK it is regarded as national soup of India. This Anglo-Indian soup gets its name from Tamil words for pepper water - ('Millau' - Pepper and 'Thani' - Water).
It became popular with the British stationed in India, who were employees of East India Company during late 18th Century. When they returned home, they brought back the recipe back with them to England. It was originally made with peppers, hence the name. However it has changed to suit differing tastes in Western culture, and hence has gone under various times and places. Pepper is no longer a vital ingredient in this soup. It is usually based on a chicken / Vegetable stock , with Red Lentils, curry powder, coconut milk and chicken pieces.
This is my version of Mulligatawny Soup, where I had not used Chicken Pieces, however for my Non-Vegetarian readers here's a recipe with Chicken pieces.
11/2 Cup of Red Split Lentils (Red Masoor Dal)
50 ml. of Chicken Stock / Vegetable Stock
1 Big Chopped Onion
100gms. of Diced Chicken Thighs (Veggies can omit Chicken Pieces)
1/2 Teaspoon of Pepper powder
1 Tablespoon of Ginger-Garlic paste
1 Teaspoon of Curry powder
1 Teaspoon of Red Chilly powder (Depending on how hot you prefer)
1 Teaspoon of Turmeric Powder
1 Teaspoon of Coriander-Cumin Powder
1 Tablespoon of Coconut Milk
1/2 Tablespoon of Tamarind Pulp
Salt to taste
1. Soak red lentils for 3 - 4 Hours, drain water and pressure cook them. Boil chicken in water, once they are cooked drain and keep aside and use the stock for soup.
2. Heat oil in a deep pan, add ginger - garlic paste and chopped onion. Saute onions till they are light pink in colour.
3. Add red chilly powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder and coriander- cumin seed powder.
4. Add cooked lentils and chicken pieces and let it simmer on low flame for few minutes.
5. Once soup starts boiling add coconut milk, salt, curry powder and tamarind pulp
6. Serve sizzling hot soup garnished with lemon wedges and chopped coriander. One can have it as a soup or can have it in a form of a curry accompanied with Basmati rice and Naan bread.