Mulligatawny Soup

Mulligatawny Soup originated in South India. ‘Mulligatawny’ was the best British tongues could make of ‘milaku thanni’  – which means ‘pepper water’ in Tamil. I’m guessing this was originally a pepper rasam, which is a type of broth but (in true stone soup style!) bits of everything got chucked in until it became what it is now.

These days, it’s a dish much favoured by Eurasians in Singapore and Malaysia   – though there are also versions in South Africa and Australia. As my fridge is on the fritz, I needed to use up lots of veg in double-quick time, so this one-pot-wonder was an ideal solution. I am sure you could vary the ingredients according to what you have in your cupboards, and I would normally make it with cauliflower not broccoli. Also, I’d usually serve it with rice (if anything), but my girls asked for pasta, so pasta they got.

Also, even though it’s called ‘soup’, it’s really a stew.  I think it’s a great recipe to have to hand for filling up cold hungry children when they get home from school (sorry to mention the ‘s’ word so early in the month).

Mulli Soup

Mulligatawny Soup (Makes about 8 Substantial Servings)

3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

3 Teaspoons of Curry Paste

2 Teaspoons of Cumin Powder

1/2 Teaspoon of Chilli Powder

1 Large Onion

6 Cloves of Garlic

3 Carrots

1 Head of Broccoli (or Cauliflower)

1/2 Head of Cabbage

2 Granny Smith Apples

6 Salad Potatoes (or one sweet potato)

2 Teaspoons of Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 400g Tin of Tomatoes

1 400g Tin of Kidney Beans

200mls of Stock

1 400g Can of Coconut Milk

Juice from 1 Lime

Salt to Taste

1-2 Teaspoons of Sweetener (Jaggery/Dark Brown Sugar/Agave Nectar/Honey)

Peel and slice the carrots, onions, apples and potatoes (if they are new, leave the skin on)

Peel and bash (or press) the garlic.

Heat the oil.

Add the curry paste and fry, over a medium heat for about two minutes, until the paste releases its aroma.

Add the onion and pepper, chilli and cumin powders.

Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes.

Add the garlic, carrots, broccoli, apples, potatoes and cabbage.

Saute for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are beginning to soften.

Stir in the stock, tomatoes and kidney beans.

Season with salt.

Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down low, put the lid on the pan and let it cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes; until the veg are soft, but not falling apart.

Add the coconut milk, lime juice and sweetener.

Stir well and heat through (but don’t boil).


Update: April 15, 2014 Yesterday, my nine-year-old made this for dinner. With all the peeling and chopping, it did take her a while, but she made a delicious meal for all of us.  If a child so young could do it – so can you!

Mulligatawny Soup


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