Mulligatawny Soup…Surprise!!!

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Mulligatawny Soup…Surprise!!! Yes, that is what is it is like to order a Mulligatawny soup…because you never really know what you will get!! The colour can vary from pale yellow to dark red…the ingredients vary – as mentioned below in ingredient listing and the long notes section below…and so does the consistency – can be thick, thin, blended or chunky…IMO, there is no right or wrong version but yes, a couple with some strange ingredients!! J…but, ideal for this kind of weather (to make as well as to eat) no matter what the colour, ingredients or consistency is!!

Mulligatawny Soup

Ingredients

  • Onion, chopped, 1 cup
  • Potato, chopped, ½ cup OR Sweet Potatoes as well OR a mix of both (optional)
  • Carrots, chopped, 1 cup
  • Celery, ¼ cup (optional)
  • Tomato, chopped, 1 large
  • Tomato puree, 2 tbsp (or can use an additional tomato)
  • Masoor Dhuli Dal/Red lentils, washed well and drained, ½ cup OR Arhar/ Toor/Split
  • Pigeon Peas OR even Mung (Moong) Dhuli/Spit Yellow Skinless Mung (Moong)
  • Fresh Green Chilies, finely chopped, 1-2 (optional)
  • Garlic, grated/finely chopped, 2-3 cloves,
  • Fresh Ginger, grated/paste, 1 tsp
  • Black Pepper Powder, 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder, ½ tsp
  • Cumin powder, 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder, ¾ tsp
  • Coriander powder, ½ tsp
  • Stock of your choice or Water, 4 cups plus more, if needed
  • Coconut Milk, 1 cup (optional)
  • Cooked Rice, ½ – 1 cup (optional)
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lemon Juice, to taste (optional)
  • Fresh Parsley or Fresh Coriander to garnish

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Over medium high heat, stir in the onions, potatoes, carrots and celery.

Once the onions start to soften and the potatoes begin to brown, add in the garlic and green chilies. Sauté for a minute or so.

Lower the heat and add in black pepper powder, red chili powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder and toss to coat.

Add in the lentils, tomato, tomato puree and ginger paste. Stir and mix well with the vegetables and let it cook for a minute.

Increase the heat to high and add in the stock. Once the stock comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and leave to simmer for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The vegetables should get tender and dal completely cooked.

Cool slightly and then blend the soup either using an immersion blender or a food processor. You can leave the soup chunky if you want or only blend about half the portion.

Transfer back into the pan and add in the cooked rice. Add more stock/water to adjust consistency but do remember that coconut milk is yet to be added in.

Heat the soup again till piping hot. Add in the coconut milk, salt and taste and adjust seasonings. Simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Switch off the heat and mix in some lemon juice. Garnish with parsley or coriander.

Options

With poultry or meat added. Please don’t blend the soup for this version
Take about ½ kg of boneless chicken cut into small pieces (preferably thigh pieces) and add along with the lentils. Cook till meat is tender. You can substitute chicken with turkey, mutton/goat meat, lamb or beef as well
If using leftover cooked meat, shred into tiny pieces and add about 15- 20 minutes before switching off the flame.

Some other options that we have eaten or made and liked:

  • Only use sliced onions, ginger, garlic, dal, spices and boneless chicken pieces. No blending and add in the cooked rice just before serving.
  • Only use sliced onions, ginger, garlic, spices and boneless chicken pieces. No blending and add in the cooked rice just before serving.
  • Above option 1 and 2 but without rice.
  • Above option 1 and 2 with coconut milk added.
  • Above option 1 and 2 with tomatoes added.
  • Use coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Dry roast them first and then grind into a powder.
    All the above options with a tablespoon or two of tamarind pulp instead of adding lemon juice later

Some added ingredients I have read about but have never tried (and probably won’t ever!!):

  • Apples
  • Mango Chutney
  • Sweet Corn
  • Bell peppers
  • Whipping Cream

Pictures of the different dals I have mentioned above can be found on these posts:
Masoor dal
Arhar Dal
Mung (Moong) Dhuli

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