Thursday, April 19, 2018

Muligatawny Soup

LUCY BURDETTE: You may or may not have seen on Facebook or Jungle Red Writers that John and I were lucky enough to visit India for two weeks earlier this spring. It was a magnificent trip – India is so different from our country in many ways, including the food. One of the dishes that John raved about (and in fact ordered three nights in a row) was mulligatawny soup. And it turns out that this dish isn't a traditional Indian recipe--it was developed for British officers stationed in India during colonial times. I don’t order soup when I go out as the salt level is frequently high. But I was sure I could make a version at home that would be tasty and less salty. Here’s what I came up with:


1 1/2 cups chopped onions (1 large)
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 jalapeno, chopped
3-4 tsp curry powder (I tried 3 and we thought it could use a little more)
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken stock or 1/2 stock, 1/2 water
2 medium carrots chopped
1/3 cup red lentils
1 medium pepper, seeded and chopped
1 firm tomato, chopped (or 2 Romas)
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup rice
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro, or more to taste

In a medium soup pot, saute the onions , carrots, peppers, and celery in the oil. When the onions are becoming translucent, add the curry and bay leaves. Saute for a minute, stirring to prevent the spices from burning. Add the stock, lentils, and rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer the vegetables for 10 minutes.

Add the cilantro, chicken, apple, and tomato. Simmer gently until the vegetables are tender and the rice is cooked.  Adjust the seasonings, mix in the cream, and serve. Top with more cilantro if desired. This was even better the next day!

Cook's note: I made a whole chicken in a crockpot the night before. We deboned and shredded half of it to use in this soup. I also refrigerated the liquid in the bottom of the crockpot, skimmed the fat the next day, and used this for part of my broth. Delicious! If you don't have the time or inclination, you can use roast chicken from your deli.

Here are a few Indian foodie photos I thought you would enjoy:

on a Varanasi street

a kitchen store in Jaipur

Making dinner in Narlai

Death on the Menu, the 8th Key West food critic mystery, will hit bookstores on August 7 from Crooked Lane Books. 

Here's a pre-order the book link from Amazon--and here's a link to preorder a hard copy from RJ Julia in CT, where you'll be able to get a signed copy. 

Or you can order it from Books and Books in Key West, or call Suzanne Orchard at Key West Island Bookstore ((305) 294-2904)--she'll be delighted to order you a copy! 
Or really, wherever books are sold...