The word ‘mulligatawny’ was derived from ‘milagu thanni’ (மிளகு தண்ணி), literally meaning pepper water. This soup is an anglicized version of an Indian, rather Tamilian broth! During colonial times, the British had adopted this recipe, which had undergone many changes over the years. However, the vegetarian version still retains the taste and flavor of the original recipe. What’s more, this rich spicy soup is similar to our own rasam (ரசம்), though it has a unique taste. Please try this wonderful soup – a colonial legacy! Here we go.
Ingredients: (Serves four)
Coconut – grated, 2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Butter – 1 tablespoon
Lemon juice – 2 tablespoons
Coriander leaves – chopped, 1 tablespoon
For the stock:
Onion – 1 no, chopped
White pumpkin – cubed, ½ teacups or 100ml measure
Carrot – 1 no, small, cubed
Tomato – 1 no, cut into large pieces
Garlic – 1 pod, crushed
Ginger – a small bit
Split red gram or toor dhal – ¼ teacups or 50ml measure
For the masala powder:
Coriander seeds – 1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds – ¾ teaspoon
Pepper corns – ½ teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds – ⅛ teaspoon
Cinnamon – a small bit
Method: Grind grated coconut with little water into a smooth paste. Add ¼ teacup of water (50ml), mix well and then pass through the sieve to collect the coconut milk in a bowl. Roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper corns, fenugreek seeds and cinnamon in a kadai on medium flame for a minute. Switch off the stove and allow the ingredients to cool. Later powder them finely using the mortar and pestle. Wash toor dhal in water 2-3 times, drain and keep aside.
Melt the butter in a pressure pan, add chopped onion and fry till the pieces turn golden brown. Add crushed garlic and sauté for a minute. Now, add in white pumpkin, carrot, tomato, ginger, toor dhal and one teacup (200ml) of water. Cook under pressure for 7 minutes or 7 whistles. Once ready, open the cooker/pressure pan lid and allow the contents to cool. Later, blend in a liquidizer along with the masala powder. Add 2 teacups (400ml) of water; mix well and pass through a sieve. Transfer the filtered soup to a kadai, add salt and turmeric powder. Mix well and simmer till the soup starts to boil. Now add coconut milk and mix well. Simmer for 30 seconds and switch off the stove. Finally, add in lemon juice and blend well. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with bread slices or soup sticks.
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