Keef Cooks logo
British food-lover Keef shows you how to cook amazing food with easy to follow recipes and videos. So stop wasting your time and money on takeaways or supermarket ready meals, and Get Cooking!

Mulligatawny Soup Recipe

Introduction & method

When the British ruled India, they wanted soup with their meals. Indian cuisine doesn't really feature soup, so the cooks came up with this. The name comes from two Tamil words meaning 'pepper water'. While recipes for this vary a great deal, the basic idea is it's a smooth curry-flavoured vegetable-based soup with maybe a bit of chicken and rice or lentils to give it body. It's not often seen these days, but maybe it's time for a revival.

Mulligatawny Soup Recipe Recipe

Prep Everything

This soup comes together pretty quickly, so it's a good idea to get everything ready before you start. Peel and dice the onion and carrot. Top, tail and slice the leek and celery. If using fresh garlic and ginger, mince/finely chop them into something like a paste. If using chillies, top and tail them and remove the seeds with a paring knife - unless you like it hot. Finely slice the chillies. Remove the skin and bone from the chicken thighs, chop into small dice.

Cook the Soup

Melt the ghee or butter (or a mix of butter and oil) on low heat. Cook the onions for 5 minutes until they are softened but not browned. Add the carrot, celery and leek and cook for a further five minutes. Add the ginger and garlic, cook for 1 minute, then add the curry powder, chillies, stock and lentils. Stir well, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and give it a good going over with a stick blender (or pour it into a proper blender and whizz) until smooth. Back on the heat, add the chicken, coconut milk, lemon juice and tamarind paste. Simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. You want to find a balance between the sweet mango chutney and the sour tamarind - add more of either if needed. Also check for saltiness and add salt if it needs it. Serve with chutneys/pickles and yoghurt, and rice or naan if you like. Garnish with some coriander leaves.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Mulligatawny Soup Recipe on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 4 chicken thighs
 1 medium red onion
 1 stick of celery
 1 leek
 1 large carrot
 1½ litre chicken stock
 2 tbsp ghee or butter
 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
 2-3 tsp curry powder
 1 red chilli (optional)
 1 green chilli (optional)
 150 grams orange lentils
 1 tbsp lemon juice
 100 ml coconut milk
 1-2 tsp mango chutney
 1 tsp tamarind paste


Fresh coriander/cilantro to garnish.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 40 minutes.
Total time: 50 minutes.