Kramer: A hot bowl of mulligatawny would hit the spot.
Elaine: Mulligatawny?
Kramer: Yes, it's a delightful Hindu concoction simmered to perfection by one of the great soup artisans in the modern era.
Elaine: Who, the Soup Nazi?
Kramer: He's not a Nazi, Elaine. He just happens to be a little eccentric. Most geniuses are.
- from Seinfeld

“A soup like this is not the work of one man. It is the result of a constantly refined tradition. There are nearly a thousand years of history in this soup.”
Willa Cather - Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927)

"Mulligatawny!" - Newman

Mulligatawny is one of those wonderful warming soups that goes down so well in the winter. It is one of the many delicious things the British took home after the occupation of India. Mulligatawny, a Tamil term literally translates to pepper water ("millagu" means pepper and "thanni" means water), it has as many variations as returning Brits, with coconut milk, without coconut milk, with chicken, apples, tomato purée, chopped apple, chutney, desiccated coconut and so on.

Why Mulligatawny? Why not Mulligatawny? I like the fact that this is a dish that has travelled countries and been loved-up by many cooks and still retains the accent of its place of origin. It is a soup that is equally at home in hot climates and cold. I love the flavours, the heat, it's fun to say. Mulligatawny; it makes my whole mouth dance. More important, I had a batch of homemade chicken stock ready to go, I had chicken, I had homemade curry powder. Selah. The best reason of all is that I had never made it before so I set to scourlng my cookbook collection and noticed all the related recipes were similar so with a couple of veggie substitutions I was ready to go. This is a very simple dish that comes together more easily than a family reunion. The Tamils call it pepper water, my wife calls it Paulligatawny, I call it a success and think I'll have a bowl now.

2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 c carrot, diced small
1 c celery, diced small
1/2 cup parsnip, diced small
1/2 medium onion, diced small
1 tbsp + 1 tsp curry homemade powder (or store bought) (home recipe to follow)
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/4 c flour
6 cups homemade chicken stock (or store bought low sodium chicken stock)
1 c unsweetened coconut milk (1/2 can)
3 free range chicken thighs, diced small-medium
2 tbsp organic lemon juice
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 tsp dried parsley (purely aesthetic)

1. In a heavy pot heat the butter over medium heat. Throw in the carrot, celery, onion, and parsnip and cook until nice and soft.

2. Mix in curry powder, chipotle powder and flour and stir for around 5 minutes. Slowly stir in the stock and coconut milk making sure to avoid lumps.

3. Throw in the diced chicken and dried parsley and simmer until the chicken is completely cooked.

4. Finish with the lemon juice, taste, and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

BASIC CURRY POWDER (adapted from Jeena's Kitchen)
8 Tbsp Cumin Powder
7 Tbsp Coriander Powder
4 Tbsp Turmeric Powder
2 Tbsp Ginger Powder
2 Tbsp Fenugreek Powder
1 Tbsp Chipoltle Chilli Powder
1 Tbsp Ancho Chili Powder

Put everthing in a glass jar and shake like you mean it. Store in an airtight container in a dark, cool place.


Unknown said...

HMmm~ interesting! I'll give it a try!

sewa mobil said...

Very nice, thanks for the information.

jordan said...

Oh my goodness, I have just found your blog and I think I love it. I will try this at my home.

Lane said...

This sounds hearty -- and love the ode to Seinfeld.

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