Mulligatawny Soup

30 Jul

mulligatawny soup

A while back, I posted a recipe for a Japanese adaptation of Indian curry. But by far the most well-known adaptations of Indian cuisine come from the British. These fusions have become so widespread that it’s not unlikely that you’re already quite familiar with some of them – such as chicken tikka masala and vindaloo – from your favorite Indian restaurants (and in fact, they are now prevalent in India itself). Mulligatawny soup is a great example, the name itself a British take on an Indian phrase meaning “pepper water.” There are many variations, but they’re usually a rich yellow or orange color from the spices (if you’re using a curry powder without turmeric, make sure to add some) and often contain meat. This particular version, however, is vegetarian, with red lentils and carrots providing the bulk of the soup, and coconut milk (very popular in Anglo-Indian cuisine) stirred in for extra richness.

Mulligatawny Soup (adapted from Greens and Seeds)
Yield: 6 – 8 servings


  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1″ piece ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 – 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes*
  • 6 – 8 cups stock**
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • salt, to taste

*Either fresh or canned should work.
**Adjust based on how liquid-y you want the final soup to be.


  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil over medium heat, then sautee 1 onion, diced until caramelized, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1″ piece ginger, minced, 1 Tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, and 1 tsp ground coriander, and sautee until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. Add 2 – 3 carrots, chopped, 1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and picked over, and 1 cup diced tomatoes, then stir together until coated with spices.
  4. Pour in 6 – 8 cups stock, bring to a boil, then lower heat, and let simmer until the lentils are cooked and carrots are soft, about 20 – 30 minutes.
  5. Using a blender or immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.
  6. Stir in 1 cup coconut milk, then add salt, to taste.

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