Mulligatawny Soup is a curried soup that is literally translated as "pepper water". I love soups and a spiced up soup is perfect for the cooler days we are having lately.
I have wanted to add a Sri Lankan Mulligatawny Soup to the blog after seeing so many westernized versions out there. I talked to my mother about this soup and said the versions I have made with prepared curry powder are just not giving me the right flavor. She told her recipe/method for Mulligatawny soup so I took that as my outline and made my own version here.
I like this soup plain, but I also cooked some rice to go with this soup to make it a hearty meal for my family. Actually, in Sri Lanka it's also served with something we call string hoppers (recipe for the string hoppers will be up someday soon).
My kids were first not sure if they wanted to eat a curried soup, but I insisted that they taste just a little of it before deciding for sure. I added some rice and gave them only a half bowl to try out first. Soon they were bringing their bowls back to me and doing a total "Oliver Twist" by asking for more please. The second helping was a nice hearty bowl of soup.
I saved a helping for my mother to try out so she could give me the official thumbs up or down. She gave me a thumbs up, but said my broth base was not as thick as she makes her base. My mother told me that she likes to add small diced potatoes to the soup and this helps thicken the soup more with the starch. Since I'm more into low carb foods and I try to avoid too much starch in the foods I eat, I opted not to put potatoes into this version. Of course, if you like potatoes, add two medium peeled and diced potatoes to your soup after you add the stock and chicken to the pot.
Now don't let all the steps and the ingredients intimidate you from making this soup. If you prep the stock the day before the soup comes together very quickly and it's mostly simmering on the stove until the final few steps.
So add some peppered water into your life this fall... it will warm you from the inside out.
Sri Lankan Mulligatawny Soup
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
- 2-3 large chicken breast (skin off, with bone)
- 10 cups of water
- 1 inch stick of cinnamon
- 1 medium onion (rough chop)
- 2 stalks celery cut into large pieces
- 1 carrot cut into large pieces
- salt and black pepper
- 2 tsp coriander seeds (roasted)
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (roasted)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds (roasted)
- 1 tsp fennel seeds (roasted)
- 2 tsp white rice (roasted)
- 1/2 Tbs black pepper seeds
- 2 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 2 tsp fresh garlic grated
- 1 cup finely diced celery
- 1 medium onion (red preferable) finely diced
- 1 cup carrots finely diced
- 1 can (10oz) diced tomato with chilies (I used Rotel)
- 8 cups prepared chicken stock with shredded chicken
- red chili powder to taste
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds pounded or fennel powder
- 2 tsp lime juice or to taste
- salt to taste
- lime wedges
1. The day before, make the soup stock by placing all stock ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.
2. Then lower heat down to medium and simmer for 1 hour. Strain stock and discard all ingredients accept chicken.
3. Shredded chicken off the bone and place back into the strained stock (discard bones).
4. Allow stock to cool to room temperature and place in fridge overnight so any fat will float to the top of stock and congeal.
5. The next day before making soup, skim the fat out of the soup and discard. Set stock aside until needed.
1. In a dry pan lightly roast on medium-low heat the rice, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds until fragrant. Careful not to burn spices. If the spices burn, redo this step.
2. Take the roasted seeds and add black peppercorns. Then either pound in a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder until powdered finely. Set aside.
3. In a large soup pot, add 2 Tbs of canola oil. On medium heat saute the onions, celery and carrots with a little salt until they start to get tender. Then add ginger and garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
4. Next add the roasted spices and saute for a minute with the aromatics. Then add the can of diced tomato and green chili.
5. Season with with turmeric and chili powder. Finally add the prepared chicken stock with the shredded chicken. Cook for 25-30 minutes.
6. To finish soup, pound or use powdered fennel and stir into coconut milk. Strain this fennel and coconut milk mixture into soup and stir well.
7. Turn stove off and add lime juice. Stir well and taste for salt and seasoning. Serve hot over rice if you like.
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