You must be warned this mulligatawny soup recipe comes at you deep from the depths of man flu, now we all know man flu is the most crippling illness known to man, it kinda makes ebola virus feel like a stubbed toe. So I am pretty much on deaths door bed typing this but please don’t worry about me I will struggle through this and I am sure I will survive, hold on there is a song in there somewhere… All joking aside, I don’t get a cold very often and much less so since I left the UK, but when I do there are two things that happen, my appetite goes through the roof and my need for hot and spicy food reaches its pinnacle. Mulligatawny Soup is my go to cold remedy, that and a hot toddy of course, this delightful Anglo Indian soup is hot, hotter than the surface of the sun and almost all of that spice heat comes from the majesty of black pepper. As a spice I thing black pepper is greatly over looked, well maybe not overlooked but certainly taken for granted, it is the most wonderful of flavours and packs the most unique heat, very different to that of chili but no less euphoric in its heights and the Indians are masters at taking advantage of its flavour and of course its heat.
Britain has had a long term love affair with ‘Indian’ food and this dish dates back to a time in British history when the British Empire was at its strongest and India was crawling with Brits that lead to much sharing of both styles and flavours between Indian Food and British food. Mulligatawny soup is the result of that ‘sharing’, not only do I love the spice in this soup but also the name, it is just wonderful, it hails from tow Tamil words for pepper and water, which is really very apt. Rumour has it that Mulligatawny soup takes its heritage from the classic Tamil south Indian dish of Rasam, a similarly textured soup which usually had a base of tamarind.
But enough of the history lesson back to biology, I must now sign off and head back to the pharmacy, well when I say pharmacy, I mean the kitchen to knock me up another whisky hot toddy to try and shift or at least mask this damn funk!
Dating back to the time of the Raj a Mulligatawny Soup is an Anglo Indian take on a traditional Rasam and it tastes incredible!
Cuisine Anglo Indian
4TbspBlack Pepper Corns.
20gGinger.Peeled and roughly chopped.
2TspKashmiri Chili Powder.
1TbspDried Fenugreek Leaves.
2TbspGhee.Use butter if you cannot get ghee.
1Tomato: Finely diced.
1Stick Celery: Approx 50g Finely Diced.
300gChicken Thigh.Boneless and skinless and cut in half.
Toast off the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and pepper corns in a dry pan and then grind in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder.
Place the garlic and ginger in a grinder and blitz to form a paste adding in the toasted and ground coriander, cumin, pepper and mustard seeds along side the turmeric, chili powder, turmeric, fenugreek and mint sauce then blitz to form a paste. Use water to help this come together and add as needed.
Heat the ghee over a medium heat in a largish saucepan and add the cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon stick and cook for 2 minutes.
Now add in the tomato and onion and cook down for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Now add the carrot, leek and celery and cook for 5 minutes.
Then add the spice paste, stir through and add the chicken thighs and cook for 2-3 minutes so everything is coated.
Now stir through the plain flour and additional turmeric and cook out for two minutes before adding in the chicken stock and salt then reducing the heat to low and allowing to simmer for 20-25 minutes.
When simmered fish the chicken thighs and shred before returning to the pan with the coconut milk and bring to temperature adding salt as required.
Make sure you remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves before serving.
I always double up on this recipe and make enough for 4 and a generous 4 at that, as it makes the most wonderful lunch treat the day after having it as a main.
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