Quite a common entry in the menu cards on Indian/American restaurants- the Mulligatawny Soup. Made of lentils, vegetables and mild spices,this soup is my hubbys favorite soup and whenever this soup is listed on the menu, without a doubt he would choose it as an appetizer. I have seen a lot of people pronounce it stylishly and little did I know that the soup had originated from Tamilnadu in India, the place where I am from.
The name Mullagu means pepper and Thanni(tawny) is just water. So all in all, Mulagu Thanni is just plain pepper water. Because of the British rule in India, I guess they liked the taste but couldnt pronounce it hence it became mulligatawny. Or may be it was a variety of Rasam (a soup like dish with pepper, tomatoes, lemon and lentils) as the ingredients are almost similar. Nice Nah? Now a days when hubby orders Mulligatawny soup,he looks at me and gives a smile
Speaking of Mulligatawny soup, there is an episode in Seinfled where George and Jerry are regular customers in a Soup Place serving an amazing Chicken Mulligatawny Soup. Elaine doesnt get a chance to taste it as her attitude irks the shop owner. After hilarious twists, in the end, Elaine somehow gets hold of the recipe for the soup and makes the owner pack up!
This is my version of the Mulligatawny soup. To be honest, sometimes I even use a bit of rasam powder in the soup to give it a secret kick of flavor and spice. The vegetables I add in the soup depends on what I have in hand, but usually I use potatoes, peas and carrots.
Red onion-chopped- 1/4 cup
Potato- 3 (medium)
Frozen peas-1/4 cup
Carrots- 3 (medium size)
Chopped Ginger- 1 tsp
Chopped Garlic- 1 tsp
Pepper Powder- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder- 1/2 tsp
Vegetable Bullion cube- 1 cube
Salt- to taste
Garam Masala Powder- 3/4 tsp
Roasted Cumin Powder- 1/2 tsp
Red lentils (Masoor dal) and yellow moong dal- together – 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves- to garnish
Lemon juice- 1 tbsp
Water- 3-4 cups
Wash and pressure cook the dals. Mash and keep aside.
Chop onions, tomatoes, carrots and potatoes into small cubes. In a saucepan, add water, bullion cube,peas, turmeric powder, salt, chopped veggies , ginger and garlic and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes till vegetables are tender.
Add the mashed dal to the pot, along with black pepper powder, garam masala powder, roasted cumin powder and simmer for another 5-7 minutes. Add lemon juice and mix well.
Check for salt and spices. Re-season if needed. You can either serve this soup as a chunky mix of veggies in liquid. If you want uniform texture, use a potato masher and mash the cooked veggies and dal to a smooth texture.
Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot.
This mulligatawny soup can be served with jeera poppadams or any crunchy bread.
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