Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

SoupChicken SoupCurry

Chicken Mulligatawny curry soup! So EASY to make and absolutely delicious, you will want to make over and over again.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Have you ever had mulligatawny? Best soup ever!

It’s basically a curry soup, most often made with chicken, vegetables, apples, and rice. Not only is it absolutely delicious, it’s the perfect example of how one culture acquires food from another, and adapts it to their own taste.

Mulligatawny is the ultimate “fusion” food, invented centuries before anyone would even know what that meant. It hails from the early days of the British Raj in India.

Mulligatawny Soup

According to Lizzie Collingham in A Tale of Cooks & Conquerors, the colonialists, wanting a first course for their dinner, requested of their Indian cooks to make them soup. The cooks obliged with what most approximated soup in their repertoire, a light tonic broth made with peppers, tamarind, and water (“molo tunny” in Tamil), dressed up with some vegetables and meat.

Over the centuries the soup evolved to what we know today—a creamy curry chicken soup with apples, rice, and vegetables. It’s a simple, wholesome soup, and a classic in Anglo-Indian cuisine.

How to Make Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • 1 1/4 pound (570 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of visible fat
  • 2 cups (475 ml) chicken stock
  • 2 cups (475 ml) water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon sea salt)
  • 1/4 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 2 tart apples, cored, peeled, and chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4  (60 ml) cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) plain yogurt for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives for garnish

Method

1 Sauté onions, celery, carrots in olive oil and butter, add bay leaves, curry powder: Heat butter and olive oil on medium high heat in a large (4 to 5 quart), thick-bottomed pot. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes until just starting to soften. Add the bay leaves. Add the curry powder and mix to coat.

2 Add chicken, stock, salt: Add the chicken thighs and stir to coat with the curry mixture. Add the stock and water to the pot. Add the salt. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

3 Remove chicken, let cool to touch: Remove the chicken pieces from the pot. (They should be just cooked through. If not, return them to the pot for another 5 minutes or so, until they are cooked through.) Place on a cutting board and allow to cool to the touch.

4 Add rice, apples: Add the rice and the chopped apples to the soup. Return to a simmer on high heat, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through.

5 Shred the chicken, return to soup, add cream: While the apples and rice are cooking in the soup, shred the chicken, discarding any tough bits. Once the rice and apples in the soup are cooked, add the chicken back to the pot. Heat for 5 minutes more. Then stir in the cream.

Serve with yogurt and chives.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

More mulligatawny trivia. According to food historian Janet Clarkson in her book, Soup a Global History, William Kitchiner had this to say about the dish: "It is a fashionable soup, and a great favourite with our East Indian friends, and we give the best receipt we could procure for it... the more familiar name of curry soup would, perhaps not have had sufficient of the charms of novelty to seduce him from his much loved mock turtle."

 

Links:

Chicken Noodle Soup here on Simply Recipes

Vegetarian Mulligatawny from Karina, the Gluten-free Goddess

Curried Turkey Soup, a Mulligatawny made with leftover turkey, here on Simply Recipes

Mulligatawny Soup

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

111 Comments / Reviews

No ImageChicken Mulligatawny Soup

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Linda

    Absolutely delicious and will be a regular for sure! Chicken thighs have much more flavor than breasts so I wouldn’t miss out on the added flavor.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Robyn

    I plan to make it tonight but I have chicken breast instead of chicken thighs will that make a difference

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Brent

    Fantastic! Followed the recipe. The only change was sauted the vegetables a few minutes longer. We loved it. It is now our favorite soup.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Julie

    Best chicken soup when you have a cold. I switch out the heavy cream for coconut cream. Delicious.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Susan

    OMG – I made this for the first time on Sunday and I have to say “It’s the most amazing soup I have made so far.”

    My family of four feasted on a double batch of this and there was absolutely nothing left!

    If you have not tried this yet – it’s a must try.

    Thank you so much for sharing this incredible recipe………

    xxxxxyyyyy

View More
Mulligatawny SoupChicken Mulligatawny Soup