Mulligatawny Soup

Since one or two readers have asked, here is my mother’s recipe for Mulligatawny Soup. It is inexpensive, nourishing, and very tasty, basically a chicken stew with three differences: a. lots of garlic and curry for flavor, b. an apple substituted for the usual potatoes, and c. the whole thing run through the blender at the end. The only drawback is that it takes two or three hours to make. However, it is also very suitable for making with friends or relatives, since there’s a lot of slicing and dicing and stirring involved, and much of the time it can be left to simmer unwatched. I believe it comes from Singapore.

Mulligatawny Soup

In large pot, place:

1 1/2 quarts water
1 frying chicken, cut up
2 tsp salt
2 onions, quartered
1 stalk celery, sliced
3 carrots, sliced

Bring to a boil and simmer at least 30 mins. Remove chicken pieces from pot and allow to cool. Remove meat from bones and put meat back in pot. In frying pan, place:

1/4 cup oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tart apple (e.g. Granny Smith), peeled and chopped

Simmer 5 minutes or so, until onion is transparent. Blend in, to form a thick paste:

1/3 cup flour
2 tbsp curry powder

Take a ladle or two of broth from the pot and stir into the mixture in the frying pan (to help liquefy it), then pour entire contents of frying pan into pot. Bring to a boil once more, and simmer again for at least 30 minutes. Stir frequently, since the flour and meat tend to stick to the bottom. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool, then mince mixture in blender, a pint or so at a time. Check the blender after each batch, since the giblets tend to get tangled with the blade.


  • The blender is necessary, and not only to mix the flavors properly. The soup looks mildly revolting before it is blended, with limp vegetables and oil floating on top.
  • Freezes well.
  • Microwaves well.
  • If boiled long enough and blended fine enough, it ends up the consistency of oatmeal, and is very tasty spread (hot) on toast.
  • It is a nourishing food (half meat, half vegetables) for those with jaw or teeth problems. I once had a student whose jaws were wired shut for a week after surgery. She was very grateful for this recipe, since it only takes a day or two to get thoroughly tired of oatmeal and milkshakes.
  • Other than the flour and maybe the apple, there is nothing that would offend the shade of the late Dr. Atkins.
  • I’m no expert, but I’m told the soup is also kosher, assuming the chicken was executed with the proper formalities and the flour and oil were properly prepared.
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2 Responses to Mulligatawny Soup

  1. Alfred M. Kriman says:

    I’m not an expert on kashrut (that’d be a meshgiach, as opposed to a moshiach, who is a messiah), but I’ll comment anyway. There appears to be nothing in the recipe as such that prevents the result from being kosher.

    As noted, it is necessary for the ingredients to be kosher to begin with. This is not just a question of proper kashering of the chicken; the chicken had to be in sound health when slaughtered.

    A co-worker of mine used to work on a kosher chicken farm when he was a kid, and he told me that they (he and other workers) would kick some of the chickens so they would appear bruised and have to be discarded (given away to the gentile farm-hands).

    It is possible for vegetables to be unkosher, if they are the fruit of grafted plants. (No navel oranges from Israel.)

    There is no Biblical injunction against mixing fowl and milk products, but the rabbis ruled that just to be on the safe side, that too was forbidden because beef and chicken meat might be mistaken for each other. There are at least four immediate reactions to this: (1) The rabbis never set foot in a kitchen. (2) The Hebrews invented chicken-fried steak! Who knew!? (3) I’ll have my cheeseburger on a bagel bun. (4) The form of the Biblical injunction (not braise meat of kid in milk of mother) suggests that one should prohibit chicken salad,
    or at least mixing of natural mayonnaise with chicken.

    Utensils can, so to speak, communicate treyfness. If the blender was previously used to make a milkshake, then it has to be well-cleaned before being used on chicken. I don’t remember details on cleaning; it does depend on the materials the utensils are made of, and I think it’s easier if you’re going from milshich use to fleishich use than vice versa.

    Inadvertent errors are excusable, if the admixture is an impurity of a part in I-forget-but-about-60-or-72.

  2. InfernoXV says:

    First I’ve heard of it being from Singapore, and I’m from Singapore! The usual story I’ve heard is that it dates from the balmy days of the British Raj in India – a sort of chicken soup with curry flavouring.

    To your recipe, I’d add several tomatoes, the juice of a lemon, fresh chopped coriander and a good amount of black pepper. A standard variant is to make this soup with beef, and I actually find the beef version tastier.

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