The origins of Mulligatawny go back to the age of the British occupation of India. The original Indian Mulligatawny was a black pepper broth soup with lentils and few spices. After the British got ahold of this soup, the simple Indian Mulligatawny was transformed into something completely different. Curry spices, apples, vegetables and meat were added. The bastardized version of Mulligatawny in no way resembled the original recipe, but the original name of this soup was retained.
The British version of Mulligatawny eventually became popular in Australia, where lamb was added to the recipe. Now when Mulligatawny is mentioned, it is described as a hearty curry lamb soup with vegetables, that is sweetened with apples.
I have made Mulligatawny Soup in many restaurants. Usually I make this soup with lamb scraps after fabricating leg of lamb or lamb shoulder for roasting. Since Mulligatawny is a soup, the pieces of lamb meat can be small, so this recipe is good for making use of lamb scraps. Thriftiness has always been a theme in British colonial cuisine!
The best customer reaction to today's Australian Mulligatawny happened while I was the chef at a traditional English Pub. Needless to say, the Mulligatawny was a smash hit, because the clientele craved curry. I actually had to make a double batch every time that I put this soup on the special du jour board at that pub, because so many customers ordered a second bowl of this soup after finishing the first one. The aroma of Mulligatawny was simply irresistible!
This recipe yields about 3 3/4 cups. (Enough for 2 large bowls of soup!)
Step 1: Heat a wide sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
Add 1 teaspoon of chopped shallot.
Add 2 teaspoons of minced ginger.
Add 1 teaspoon of minced garlic.
Briefly sauté for a few seconds, till the ginger and garlic become aromatic.
Step 2: Add 1/4 cup each of these diced vegetables:
- green bell pepper
- red bell pepper.
Add 1 fine chopped green onion.
Sauté and stir till the vegetables are halfway cooked.
Step 3: Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour while stirring. Stir till the flour combines with the excess butter, but do not let the flour brown.
*The flour will absorb the excess butter and make roux.
Step 4: Add 3 1/2 cups of light chicken broth.
Raise the temperature to medium high heat.
Bring the liquid to a gentle boil. Stir occasionally.
Step 5: Add 6 ounces of small thin bite size pieces of lean lamb scraps. (Lean lamb shoulder or leg scraps are best for this recipe.)
Return the soup to a gentle boil.
Step 6: Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
Add 1 cup of large diced apple.
Add 1 tablespoon of Garam Masala.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric.
Add 1 pinch of cayenne pepper.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of cumin.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of coriander.
Add sea salt to taste.
Step 7: Gently simmer the soup till the vegetables and lamb are tender. Allow the volume to reduce to about 3 2/3 cups. Stir occasionally.
Step 8: Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
Add 2 tablespoons of plain goat milk yogurt (Greek Yogurt) while stirring.
Keep the soup warm over very low heat or in a 135ºF bain marie.
Step 9: Ladle 1 portion of Mulligatawny into a large soup bowl.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sliced green onion on the soup.
This is a tasty Mulligatawny!