Mulligatawny is the warm hug of soups. Seriously though; it ranks in my top 5 all-time favorite soups (and I LOVE soups).
This flavorful soup is made up of chicken, tart apples, rice, and bold curry spices. The history of this dish is sketchy at best. Is it South Indian? Or is it British? My gut leads me to believe this is a British dish inspired by South Indian flavors. Kinda like how Butter Chicken is actually a true-blue British dish. Whatever the case, I would like to kiss the brilliant person who came up with it!
Many recipes call for the rice to be cooked in the soup but I cook it separately and spoon the Mulligatawny overtop. Why? Because the rice expands significantly when left overnight and soaks up all the broth by morning. Because I live in a household of two and tend to eat this recipe for 3-4 days; that method just doesn’t work for me.
Like most soups & stews, this recipe tastes even better the next day once the flavors have had a chance to marry.
If you’re a fan of the curry and tart apple flavor combination, try my Curried Apple Risotto.
- 1 large Dutch oven or soup pot
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 soup ladle
- 2 tbsp Ghee or coconut oil
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1 onion about 2 cups
- 1 cup carrots chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger grated
- 2 tbsp Madras curry powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 lb boneless and skinless chicken thighs
- 2 granny smith apples peeled, cored, and chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream or coconut cream
- 1 lemon maybe more to taste
- kosher salt to taste
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup white basmati rice uncooked
- fresh cilantro for garnish; optional
- fresh chives sliced diagonally, for garnish; optional
- Heat ghee and olive oil in a large-heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. When shimmering, add the onions, celery, and carrots; sauté until soft (about 5 minutes). Add garlic & ginger, stirring until fragrant (about 1 minute).
- Push mirepoix to one side of the pot and add the remaining tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil to the empty side, heating only briefly. Add the madras curry, garam masala, flour, and a good pinch of kosher salt over the oil; stir to form a paste. Mix in the veggies and cook for 2 minutes to bloom the spices. Add a small amount of chicken stock and stir to mix out any lumps formed by the roux.
- Add chicken thighs and mix to coat. Pour in the chicken stock and a very generous pinch of kosher salt. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove the chicken thighs from the pot and check to see they're cooked through. If not, throw them back in the pot for another 5 min. Place the chicken on a cutting board to cool to the touch.
- Add the chopped apples to the soup and return to a gentle boil, then turn heat down to maintain a simmer. Partially cover the pot and cook for 15 min.
- Meanwhile cook whatever rice you’re using. Keep in mind brown takes much longer to cook.
- Add the shredded chicken back to the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and fresh lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spoon cooked basmati rice into individual bowls and ladle soup overtop.
- Garnish with cilantro and chives (optional).