Mulligatawny Soup

The word ‘Mulligatawny’ is an anglicisation of a Tamil phrase meaning ‘pepper-water’ and was an early appropriation from the British Raj. It is a curry soup of, probably, Madras origin, and rapidly became popular in England from the early 19th Century onwards. Mulligatawny Soup was in origin a vegetarian dish, but meat is frequently added, as I have done below. The create a vegetarian version, simply omit the meat.



25g butter.

1 tblsp cooking oil.

250g finely sliced beef steak [rump is good, but trim off all the fat].

1 large onion peeled, finely chopped.

4 garlic cloves chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped.

1 stick celery, chopped.

1 medium potato, peeled, diced.

1 tblsp curry powder [or to taste].


1l beef stock.

1 tblsp tomato paste.

1 tblsp mango chutney

½ cup basmati rice.

Yoghurt to garnish [optional].

 Coriander greens, chopped, to garnish [optional].



Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan over a medium flame. Add the meat and stir fry until browned all over, then add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery and potato. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are beginning to brown. Add the curry powder and salt and cook for a further 1 minute, stirring. Add the stock, the tomato paste, the chutney and the rice and stir well. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for another for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the consistency and add a little more water if required, bring back to the boil and serve immediately. Garnish with swirls of yoghurt and chopped coriander.


Serve with: Chunks of fresh French bread on the side.


Serves: 2 as a main course.

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