Vegetarian Mulligatawny Soup
Recipe: Vegetarian Mulligatawny Soup
Vegetarian Mulligatawny Soup is a veggie version of the famous Mulligatawny Soup from the Indian Cuisine. Generally chicken or meat is added to this vegetable, lentil, curry powder soup. I’ve prepared a vegetarian version which is wholesome, nutritious, filling and so deliciously creamy. This soup is not spicy or hot but has subtle flavours of the curry powder used.
Sharing This Recipe With FoodieMonday/Bloghop & Foodies_Redoing Old Posts
To celebrate India’s Republic Day, we decided on the theme Colonial Inspired Cuisine. My contribution towards this themeis a curry house staple, mulligatawny soup. This soup was created by the cooks or khansamas for the British Officers and Memsahibs who enjoyed the traditional peppery Tamil rasam but would only eat it as a soup course. So the popular Tamil pepper water or pepper broth millagu thanni gave birth to a soup where curry powder, apple, chicken broth were added to it.
During the British Raj (British rule in the Indian Subcontinent), the cooks or khansamas innovated new dishes which combined some local flavours with those of Britain and Europe and vice versa. Thus during that era chutneys, salted beef tongue, kedegree, ball curry, fish rissoles, cutlets, chops, foogath, pantheras, mulligatawny soup etc. became very popular. The fusion between the local and British food gave birth to the Anglo Indian Cuisine.
Foodies_Redoing Old Posts
This Vegetarian Mulligatawny Soup was first posted on 23/01/2017. Back then I had posted a chunky version of the soup and had used split pigeon pea lentils (toor dal). This time I’m sharing the pureed version and also have used only puy lentils.
British Food Scene
When one thinks of English food, usually fish and chips, shepherd pies with mushy peas or a roast with yorkshire pudding comes to the mind. But England’s most popular food are not chips, scones, crumpets or yorkshire pudding but it is chicken tikka masala. British food scene has changed ever since the East India Company touched the shores of the Indian Subcontinent in the mid 18th Century. Everything from cocktails, soups to main dishes and desserts changed. Not only did the British assimilate a lot of the local spices and methods of cooking but they in turn introduced a variety of dishes to the locals which got adopted and changed to suit their taste buds.
British Raj Era
Curry houses became fashionable during the Victorian era as British officers and their wives or mothers took back new variations of the British food. In 1861 Isabella Beeton added a recipe of the ‘curry powder’ in her book ‘Book of Household Management.’ The word curry is derived from the Tamil word ‘kari’ which means a sauce or relish for rice. Spices blended together was given the name curry powder which to date is used commonly by the British and their former colonies but not so commonly used in the Indian Subcontinent.
Its also during the British Raj that Dak Bungalow cuisine and Railway cuisine was born. Dak Bungalows were resting places for the Britishers when they toured. The cooks or khansamas would have to quickly prepare meals for them with whatever was available. If they travelled by rail, they usually relaxed and dined in the plush first class where dishes like Railway mutton curry were prepared for them. Some of the famous dishes cooked back then and still prepared today by the Anglo Indian community are Dak Bungalow Chicken, Hawildar’s Dal Tadka, Dimer Dalna and Jhalfrezi to name a few. Anglo Indian food developed around Calcutta added mustard and mustard oil to their preparations and in the south coconut milk and curry leaves were used. Check out Bridget White Kumar’s blog site for more information about the Anglo Indian Cuisine and recipes.
Post British Raj
The British have long left the Indian Subcontinent but we can still find some Clubs/Restaurants serving steak pies, bread and butter pudding, mulligatawny soup, beer batter fish, mutton ball curry, country captain chicken. They still observe the ‘propah’ English etiquette while using the facilities.
Mulligatawny Soup Today
Today Mulligatawny soup has many variations. Different lentils like split pigeon pea, mung dal, split puy lentils are used to add a slightly thick base. Variety of vegetables like carrots, potatoes, onion, celery, cauliflower are added along with either chicken or meat pieces. The curry powder is made according to the taste of ones palate. Some prefer to have a wholesome soup with chunks of vegetables and meat while others puree it into a thick soup.
Add any vegetables of your choice. Use a mixture of lentils or dals. The curry powder adds a distinct flavour so do make a small batch at home.
Some More Soup Recipes
My Version Of Vegetarian Mulligatawny Soup
Being a vegetarian I made a vegetable mulligatawny soup. I read up many recipes by fellow bloggers and chefs and no one recipe was what I wanted to prepare. So I took a bit from most and developed my own concoction of the soup, using curry powder. In Kenya (a former British colony) we are quite use to the idea of using curry powder in our cooking.
Ingredients Required For Vegetarian Mulligatawny Soup
I have used puy lentils, the orange one. Can use the brown puy lentils, split pigeon pea (toor dal), moong dal. Can use a mixture of them. I prepare to soak lentils in warm water for at least 15-20 minutes. This enables them to cook faster.
An important ingredient, so don’t skip it. Add according to your taste.
Wash the stick very well before slicing it. The inner groove of the stick sometimes harbours dirt.
Preferably a green one but can also use the normal red or pink ones. Core and cut the apple into cubes.
Potato | Sweet Potato
Peel and cut into cubes.
Peel and cut into chunks.
Use any of your choice, white, yellow or red. Peel and chop.
Peel and cut into slices.
Peel and cut into pieces.
Use pumpkin, cauliflower, parsnip, zucchini, etc. I have used sweet potato as that is what I had in my fridge. Make up the vegetables to about 1-2 cups.
Olive Oil | Coconut Oil |Butter
Omit butter for a vegan version of this soup. I have used olive oil.
Add a cube of vegetable stock or powder to normal water. Or if you get ready made vegetable stock use that.
Add according to your taste.
Use fresh or canned.
Lemon Juice | Tamarind Water
Use whatever is available. Add when the soup is ready.
Usually Mulligatawny Soup is served with a bit of cooked rice on top. Just about 1 tbsp per person. Remember this is a soup and not a curry.
For The Curry Powder:
- Cumin Powder
- Coriander Powder
- Turmeric Powder
- Red Chilli Powder, mild
WATCH HOW TO MAKE VEGETARIAN MULLIGATAWNY SOUP
VEGETABLE MULLIGATAWNY SOUP
FOR THE SOUP
- ½ cup puy lentils orange one, washed and soaked
- 1¼ cup sweet potato cubes
- 1 medium carrot peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 medium onion peeled and cut into chunks
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 large green apple diced
- 1 stick celery washed and sliced
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 2-3 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil or olive oil
- 1¼ tsp salt
- 1 inch ginger peeled and chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
- 6-8 peppercorns
- 1 tbsp lemon juice or tamarind water
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
- ½ cup rice cooked
FOR THE CURRY POWDER:
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ¼ tsp red chilli powder
- Mix the spices for the curry powder and keep on the side till required.
- Wash and soak the lentils in 1 cup warm water for 10-15 minutes.
- Drain out the water.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan.
- Add peppercorns and allow them to sizzle in the oil.
- Add onion, ginger and garlic. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes till it becomes a bit soft.
- Add the vegetables, apple and drained lentils.
- Mix well.
- Allow the mixture to cook for 3-5 minutes without adding water or stock.
- Add the vegetable stock, and cover the pan. Simmer the mixture till the vegetables and lentils are cooked.
- Stir the mixture in between and make sure there is enough stock or water.
- For a smooth soup, puree the mixture completely. Can also puree it partially. Or serve it as a chunky soup.
- Add salt, curry powder, lemon juice and coconut milk. Mix well.
- Simmer the soup till it becomes hot.
- Add chopped fresh coriander.
- Serve the soup in bowls and top it with cooked rice.
- Use vegetables of your choice.
- You may use a mixture of the lentils.
- Adjust the spices according to your taste.
- If ready made tamarind paste is not available then you will have to soak the tamarind in hot water for 20-30 minutes. Then press it through a sieve to get tamarind water.
- Puree the soup completely, partially or serve it as a chunky soup.
- Generally the curry powder has ½ tsp turmeric powder. I reduced it to ¼ tsp as I add some to the soup while cooking it.
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