Friday, October 15, 2010

A CKCA Favorite: Mulligatawny Soup

Mulligatawny soup is a favorite at CKCA, made every semester in Chef Avram Wiseman's pro class, often in the first week of cooking. It's a great recipe for students to get comfortable in the kitchen, working as part of a brigade, because there's lots of mis en place (ingredients to be made ready for cooking) to prepare that can be shared among a group of people. It's also a great example of the use of delicious Indian spices that can be used in many recipes to add flavor and color to everyday recipes such as roasted vegetables or chicken.

There's no reason this recipe can't be made at home, and it's a thick, spicy, comforting soup that's just perfect for the fall. It can be either served as an appetizer or as a full meal in itself.


1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups chopped onions (about 1 pound)
5 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups eggplant, peeled,cut into small dice
1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala (see a recipe for this spice blend in "comments")
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
2 cups dried red lentils
8 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups cooked basmati rice
Lemon wedges for garnish


Heat vegetable oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until golden brown, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add garam masala and next 4 ingredients; stir 1 minute. Add eggplant and continue cooking. Add lentils; stir until coated. Add chicken broth. Bring the soup to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until lentils are very tender, about 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves.

Puree the soup using a hand wand or food processor until smooth. Stir in chicken, coconut milk, and lemon juice. Reheat and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide rice among bowls. Pour soup over. Garnish with lemon wedges; serve with cilantro sprigs, chives and a dash of coconut milk.


  1. I am into soups, big time, now that it is colder. This is one, I want to make, and I am printing it now, so I will really do that.

  2. this sounds wonderful,but what is garam marsala. I have never heard of this ingredient.

  3. Garam Masala is an indian spice blend that contains a number of different flavors. You can buy a bottle prepared in gourmet stores, or make a bottle of your own by combining the following:
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg