Mulligatawny Chicken Soup

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Mulligatawny Chicken Curry Soup! EASY to make and absolutely delicious, you'll want to make over and over again.

mulligatawny soup

Have you ever had mulligatawny? The best soup!

Basically it's a curry soup, often made with chicken, vegetables, apples, and rice. Not only is it absolutely delicious, it is the perfect example of how one culture acquires food from another and adapts it to your own taste.

Mulligatawny is the ultimate "fusion" food, invented centuries before anyone knew what that meant. It comes from the early days of the British Raj in India.

mulligatawny soup

According to Lizzie Collingham in A Tale of Cooks & Conquerors, the colonialists, who wanted a first course for dinner, asked their Indian cooks to make them soup. The cooks forced with the closest soup in their repertoire, a light tonic broth made with peppers, tamarind and water ("molo tunny" in Tamil), seasoned with some vegetables and meat.

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Over the centuries, the soup evolved into what we know today: a creamy chicken curry soup with apples, rice, and vegetables. It is a simple and healthy soup, and a classic in Anglo-Indian cuisine.

How to make chicken soup with mulligatawny

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Mulligatawny Chicken Soup Recipe

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes.

  • Cook time: 45 minutes.

  • Yield: serves 4 to 6


  • 2 butter spoons
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 chopped carrots (about 1 cup)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 teaspoons of yellow curry powder
  • 1 1/4 pound (570 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs with no visible fat
  • 2 cups (475 ml) chicken stock
  • 2 cups (475 ml) of water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon of sea salt)
  • 1/4 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 2 sour apples, cored, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 (60 ml) cup heavy whipped cream
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) plain yogurt for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped chives to decorate


1 Sauté onions, celery, carrots in olive oil and butter, add bay leaves, curry powder: Heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat in a large (4 to 5 quarts) heavy-bottomed pot. Add onions, celery, and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the bay leaves. Add the curry powder and mix to coat.

2 Add chicken, broth, salt: Add chicken thighs and stir to coat with curry mixture. Add the broth and water to the pot. Add the salt. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

3 Remove the chicken, let cool to the touch: Remove the chicken pieces from the pot. (They should be well cooked. Otherwise, return them to the pot for another 5 minutes or so, until they are well cooked.) Place them on a cutting board and allow them to cool to the touch.

4 Add rice, apples: Add the rice and chopped apples to the soup. Return to low heat over high heat, then lower the heat to maintain a low heat. Cover and cook 15 minutes, or until rice is cooked through.

5 Shred the chicken, return to the soup, add the cream: While the apples and rice are cooking in the soup, crumble the chicken and discard the hard pieces. Once the rice and apples in the soup are cooked, add the chicken to the pot. Heat 5 minutes more. Then add the cream.

Serve with yogurt and chives.

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