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Don’t be intimidated by the name! Chicken mulligatawny soup (pronounced mul·li·ga·taw·ny), which originated in India while the British were ruling it, is full of flavor and very comforting!
So what does mulligatawny mean? Well, the origin of this name is based on the Tamil language. ‘Mullaga’ in Tamil means hot peppers or chillies and ‘thanni’ means water. So basically mullagathanni means hot pepper water (soup). As legend has it, the British colonists wanted their Indian chefs to make them a soup course. Since in Indian cuisine there wasn’t really a soup category, the cooks decided to water down their ‘mullaga thanni’ and created a soup. Over time, chicken and vegetables came to be added to this. The British relished this dish so much that they took it back with them to England and they continued to mispronounce it until it finally became to be called mulligatawny soup as it’s known today!
There are multiple versions of this soup, both vegetarian (using lentils) and chicken-based. But in essence, all versions contain some basic components – spices and hot peppers, apples, chicken (or lentils), rice and cream. In my AIP version, I used ground chicken (to reduce the cooking time) and cauliflower rice in place of regular rice. I use ginger in both fresh and dried (ground) form to give it a flavor boost. I also like to add a handful of cranberries (as a substitute for tomatoes) to give it some tang! This soup is a perfect one-pot meal for those weeknights when you are really tired and would like a meal that is quick to make and yet comforting!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
- ½ of a medium onion, chopped fine
- 2 celery stalks, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, finely chopped
- 1 lb of ground chicken, thawed
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1½ cups shredded cabbage (about ¼ of a large cabbage)
- 6-8 fresh or frozen cranberries (optional)
- ½ of a green apple, peeled and diced
- 1½ cups of cauliflower rice fresh or frozen (if using frozen, thaw it beforehand)
- 5 cups of chicken bone broth (or water)
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- 2 scallions, chopped fine
- 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Heat a large stockpot and add the coconut oil. Turn heat to medium and add the onion and celery. Saute for 2 minutes and then add the ginger and garlic. Continue sautéing for another 30 seconds.
- Next add the ground chicken along with the spices. Stir to mix the chicken with the spices and to break any lumps as the chicken cooks. Continue stir frying for another couple minutes until all of the chicken turns opaque.
- Then add the cabbage, green apple, cranberries (if adding) and the cauliflower rice.
- Add the bone broth (or the water) and cover and let cook on low heat for about 10 minutes.
- Open the lid and add the coconut milk and stir to mix. Let simmer uncovered for about 2-3 minutes or until the soup achieves a thicker consistency (it won't be very thick or creamy but more stew like).
- Turn heat off. Add the scallions, cilantro and the lemon juice. Stir to mix.
- Serve soup warm.
Well, the name was a mouthful until I get a hang of it. But now I can say it pretty fluently and also made it. It was awesome and I made some small changes to meet my family’s requirements. I have the say it was a hit. Maybe the name was what got us all hooked on to it first but now we know the taste is awesome too.
Thanks so much for the feedback Ann. Yes the name makes it interesting right! I am so happy to hear that you and your family enjoyed it!
I love this soup. I add extra cranberries because I like the hit of tartness and the beautiful color it adds to the soup. Sometimes I add curry powder – it blends well with all the other flavors.
Thank you for this solid addition to my soup go-to list.