janet @ the taste space

Root Vegetable Mulligatawny

In Mains (Vegetarian), Soups on April 16, 2012 at 6:17 AM

I know you raised an eyebrow when I posted the recipe for Banana Naan. Bread flour, what?!

Let me assure you that for my Indian Easter, I continued with the clean out my kitchen mantra and no-more-buying things for the pantry moratorium with the Janet-friendly part of the meal.

I had been eyeing Sarah’s Mulligatawny Soup ever since she posted it in January. My Mom told me not to stress about the meals, so I scoped out recipes that I could make with the produce I already had (we happened to be fortunate that cauliflower was on sale for $1/head for our pakoras). Almost everything else had been squirreled away in my freezer, or living without a purpose in my fridge (I was looking at half a celeriac and half a kabocha squash!). While Sarah also provided the recipe for the Celeriac and Pumpkin Curry, they don’t taste remotely similar.

Mulligatawny is a British Indian curry-flavoured soup and literally means “pepper water”. However, recipes seem to be so varied that anything goes. Tess‘ version of mulligatawny is primarily red lentils, lemon and cilantro, whereas this is a creamy, tomato-spiked vegetable curry-soup brightened with tamarind. The leftovers were definitely more of a curry consistency.

Preparing a huge batch of soup in advance is a great way to relieve the stressful prep before a large meal. However, I didn’t fully appreciate how much soup I would be making. Sarah suggested it would serve a crowd, and she didn’t lie. We definitely already had enough food to feed an army along with the pakoras, 2 other curries [Malai Koftas, and a Spinach Chana Dal curry], a couscous pilaf salad and dessert. Oh, and we bought naan, too. Those recipes are still forthcoming, no worries!

Why did we make such a feast? 1) To make sure there was something for everyone to enjoy; and 2) No cooking required for the rest of the weekend since we’d be eating the leftovers.

This is my submission to this month’s Bookmarked Recipes, to this week’s Weekend Wellness, to this week’s Sunday Night Soup Night and to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays.

Root Vegetable Mulligatawny
Adapted from Whole Living

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 Tbsp curry leaves (about 15)
2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
1.5 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp minced ginger
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced (~1 cup)
6 cups diced mixed root vegetables (I used half celeriac and half kabocha squash, but you could use carrots, kohlrabi, parsnip, turnip, rutabaga, etc)
1 cup cooked chickpeas
14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
14 oz. can lite coconut milk (I used 375 mL)
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp tamarind concentrate (or juice of 1/2 lemon)

cilantro, for garnish (optional)

1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the oil. Once hot, add the mustard seeds, curry leaves,, turmeric, chile flakes, coriander, salt and ginger. Once fragrant, add the onion and saute until softened, around 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and saute a few more minutes until fragrant.

2. Add the chopped vegetables and chickpeas and stir well, to toss well with the spices. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, coconut milk. vegetable broth and red lentils. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 30-40 minutes until your lentils and vegetables are soft and tender.

4. Add the tamarind or lemon juice and season to taste. Add cilantro for garnish.

Serves 6-8.

  1. This soup was GREAT! I highly enjoyed eating the leftovers for multiple days.

  2. My favorite soup. Spicy, creamy delish.

  3. Whenever I cook for my parents I always make sure to make enough for leftovers. This way if it’s not-so-awesome, I let them have it…and if it’s AMAZING then I get to have it again for lunch! It’s a win/win. Kind of like this soup…

  4. I actually have not yet heard of mulligatawny, having been in the uk for 3 years already. hmm. i love the other “bastardise” indian curry that’s apparently now considered a british national dish, the tikka masala, heh. no doubt I will enjoy this too, love the combination of spices, tamarind and coconut, with sweet root vegetables and lentils. great that it’s vegetarian and uses store-cupboard items too, cheap enough for those on a student budget like me. might actually do this tonight, got half a celeriac, quarter of a pumpkin, and a couple of carrots hiding away :/

  5. […] figure with all the options for food at Easter, I could skip out on making a dessert, […]

  6. I love this idea for a soup! I had no idea that Mulligatawny had anything to do with Indian cuisine, because the name hardly sounds Indian! But I love all of those spices, and the coconut milk is a great addition. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with Sunday Night Soup Night! I’ll be hosting every week so I’d love to see you again with your next soup/stock/chowder/stew/chili recipe.

  7. I have chosen this soup as one of my top 3 picks from Sunday Night Soup Night! I have tweeted it, pinned it and shared it on my Facebook page. It will be featured on Sunday Night Soup Night this coming Sunday. Thanks for linking up and I hope to see you again soon!

  8. Mulligatawny is a favorite of mine–I love the cuury flavor.. This one looks super hearty and good. Thanks for sharing it at Souper Sundays. 😉

  9. […] Root Vegetable Mulligatawny (tastespace.wordpress.com) […]

  10. […] my Mom, the coconut-hater, taste the coconut in the Mulligatawny? [NOOOOO!! I honestly had my […]

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