Vegetable Mulligatawny Soup

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Vegetable Mulligatawny Soup

A faithful reader emailed me last week wondering if I made a vegetarian version of Mulligatawny soup. Though I sometimes enjoy a bowl of this spicy soup when visiting Indian restaurants — my local favorite being the dark and very spicy version offered at Curry's here in London, Ontario — I had yet to make my own, until now.

Mulligatawny, literally "pepper water", is Anglo-Indian in origin. There are hundreds of versions of this soup. It's easy to make, though it does take a little while to prepare the ingredients for the soup. I had a browse through a few of my cookbooks, and decided to try Madhur Jaffrey's recipe. I've adapted it somewhat to suit my tastes. Free feel to experiment with different kinds of vegetables, and add some chopped fresh chilies for extra heat.

This soup is a thick version of Mulligatawny, but you can add more stock if you wish to thin it out a bit. It can be served with any Indian meal. As is the case with most soups, it tastes better the next day once the flavors have had a chance to blend, so for an even spicier soup, make it ahead of time and simply heat it up before serving.

Vegetarian Mulligatawny SoupVegetable Mulligatawny Soup
Recipe by
Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian: More Than 650 Meatless Recipes from Around the World
Cuisine: Indian
Published on May 21, 2007

Thick, creamy, fragrant and spicy Mulligatawny soup — a perfect starter for any Indian meal

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons chickpea flour (besan)
  • 5 to 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 6 large button mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 small turnips, peeled and diced
  • 4 tablespoons red lentils
  • small handful dried curry leaves or 2 crushed bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 14 oz (410 mL) can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • In a heavy frying pan, dry roast the peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds over medium-high heat. Stir for a couple of minutes or until the seeds begin to emit a roasted aroma and darken a couple of shades. Remove from the pan, let cool, and grind the seeds in a coffee or spice grinder. If desired, press the ground spices through a fine mesh sieve for a finer soup. Add the turmeric and cayenne to the ground spices and set aside.

  • Add the chickpea flour to a medium bowl and add a few tablespoons of the stock. Stir and remove any lumps. Add another 5 cups of stock and mix.

  • Combine the chickpea flour and stock mixture, ground spices, mushrooms and vegetables, lentils, curry leaves or bay leaves, garlic, onion and ginger in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and gently simmer for 45 to 50 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add more stock if necessary.

  • Remove from heat and blend the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a countertop blender. Return the soup to the stove, stir in the coconut milk and salt, and simmer the soup for a couple of minutes to combine the flavours. Again, more stock can be added if you wish.

  • Serve hot in warm bowls garnished with lime wedges.

Makes 8 to 10 servings
Vegetable Mulligatawny Soup


Anonymous said...

Thanks Lisa :)

Interesting, and different than what we're used to. I think I'll add the 2 tart apples. Also my Hindi friend who's opening his restaurant this week, gave me some hot curry mix to try.

Lisa Turner said...

You are most welcome Fergy. The soup turned out even better than I expected. I like you idea of adding a couple of tart apples.

As for that curry mix, I'm jealous!

Anonymous said...

This is the stuff, actually Pakistani.

He told me that a little goes a long way

Lisa Turner said...

Thanks. I think I might even be able to find that mix at my local Indian grocery store.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Lovely soup Lisa and great photos!

While I am here I will let you know that I have tagged you for a meme! 7 Random foodie facts.

Hope you will join in, it should be fun!

Tinned Tomatoes: Tag! You're It!