Dinner/ healthy living/ Soup

How to Make Mulligatawny Soup

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Here in Maryland we are well into the Fall season and the school year, both reasons why we are currently eating a lot of soup. The cooler months of the year are a great time for soup and when you have a busy family life, which includes the school schedule, you certainly appreciate whenever you can make large batch meals that feed the whole family, result in leftovers, and freeze well for future easy meals. We have soups of all kinds that we love,  including our Vegan Asparagus Soup, but perhaps none that we love as much or fix more than our Mulligatawny Soup. It has even gone on to inspire other soups that we make (see our Roasted Cauliflower Soup Recipe). Read on to see how to make Mulligatawny Soup and hopefully it becomes a favorite meal in your house as well!


For as long as I can remember, my grandmother has had a well stocked freezer with all different varieties of soup. These memories of soup, along with the actual eating of soup, warm my soul! My grandparents don’t eat soup every day, but they do regularly have a lunch that consists of leftovers, a sandwich, and/or soup reheated on the stove from the freezer. In our house we have adopted this strategy as well. Soup makes a great side item or a great meal all by itself (let’s be honest, sometimes we don’t have a lot of time and so just being able to reheat some great soup is awesome!). Whenever we make soup we try to make large enough batches so we can enjoy some right away, have leftovers for the next day, and still have a little left to freeze so we give ourselves an easy future meal. Batch prep is key for anyone with a busy life! Which is pretty much all of us, am I right? 🙂 It doesn’t take a ton of extra work to make soup in larger batches, but the pay off when you get a night off from meal prep is BIG!

I think I first had Mulligatawny soup in college.  It was one of the soups in rotation in the school cafeteria and I loved it! But I still had no idea how to make Mulligatawny soup or anything about it really. My good friend Wikipedia says that the word Mulligatawny originates from the Tamli words mullaga/milagu and thanni which translate to “pepper-water”. Tamli is a language predominately spoken in southern India and Mulligatawny Soup is thought to be an English Soup based upon an Indian recipe. I think it’s so cool how so many different great recipes and styles of food can be traced to different cultures. We are so lucky to live in a connected age where so much of this is now so accessible to the everyday chef. Awesome!

After college I think I just forget about it for a while, but then, probably five years ago, I stumbled upon a great Mulligatawny Soup recipe over on the Soup Addict  and decided to try making it. Eureka! I’m so glad I did! 


If you’ve never visited Karen’s Soup Addict  site before, you’re missing out! We highly recommend it.  Tons of amazing recipes just waiting to be made as well as garden tips from Karen for growing many of the ingredients in her recipes. We certainly share her passion for soup! Her Mulligatawny Recipe gave us a great starting point for something that, over time, we have adapted to our tastes and has become one of our absolutely favorite recipes!

It’s funny because in Karen’s original Mulligawny recipe (she has since done a Mulligatawny reboot) she begins by writing  “Mulliga-what?”. And, I think most of us can totally identify with this! Often times when we come across something new or unfamiliar to us we have this irrational fear or it somehow feels inaccessible to us when really what we need to do is just roll up our sleeves and embrace the adventure and joy of trying something new! No one’s gonna know if you mess it up the first time (unless you fix it for the first time for a dinner party which would be bold, but not necessarily the best idea) so just have fun with it, experiment, and before you know it you might be onto something really great! Being unafraid to fail means you are opening up a whole new world of opportunity (and recipes). Failing is just another word for learning. So fail your way forward, in life and in the kitchen. Adventure and delicious food await!

And, of course, we have a tough time fixing Mulligatawny Soup without think about this Seinfeld episode (regular readers know we have a thing for Seinfeld):

On to the soup recipe. We hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do.

Easy Mulligatawny Soup

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  • 2 T . coconut oil
  • 1 onion , chopped,
  • 3 cloves garlic , finely chopped
  • 4-6 carrots , chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery , chopped
  • ½ Tb . flour
  • 1 T . garam masala
  • 2 tsp . curry powder
  • 1 tsp . turmeric
  • ½ tsp . salt
  • 32 oz . chicken broth
  • 1 15 oz . can coconut milk
  • 1-2 apples , peeled, cored, and grated
  • 1 c . rice

The Chicken Part

  • 2 Tb . coconut oil
  • 2 chicken breasts , cut into small bite size pieces
  • ½ T . flour
  • ½ Tb . garam masala
  • 1 tsp . curry powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ c . white wine to deglaze the pan (can substitute chicken broth)


  • In a large soup sized pot, melt coconut oil on medium heat.
  • Add onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add carrot and celery and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until soft.
  • Add remaining flour, garam masala, curry powder, turmeric, and salt, then stir and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add broth to deglaze pan, then add coconut milk, apples, and rice.
  • This will need to simmer for for approximately the length of time it takes to cook the rice.
  • I have been using brown basmati rice lately and a half an hour seems to work.
  • Stir periodically to ensure the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom.
  • I have also added more broth if the soup becomes too thick.
  • In a separate pan, melt coconut oil on medium heat.
  • Mix flour, garam masala, curry powder, and salt and sprinkle over chicken--stir to coat.
  • Then add chicken to pan and stir every few minutes until browned on all sides (chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked as it will finish cooking in the soup).
  • Add chicken to soup.
  • Put pan back on heat and deglaze pan with wine (or more broth) and add to soup pot.
  • I have occasionally used chicken from a roaster to speed up the prep time for the soup.
  • It works, but is no where as flavorful as when you add spices and cook specifically for the soup.

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