Mulligatawny Soup

golden mulligatawny soup in a white bowl garnished with yogurt and parsley.

Mulligatawny soup is a fragrant curry-spiced soup from the Tamil region of India. In Tamil, mulligatawny translates to pepper-water. And pepper-water this soup can be! If you don’t like spicy, I would recommend using less curry powder, or a sweeter curry powder of your preference. A Tamil friend of mine once made me a mulligatawny soup that almost blew my taste buds away, but goodness was it delicious.

There are also many different ways you can make mulligatawny soup. Some recipes are vegetarian, whereas others contain chicken or other meat (although the original soup dating back to the British Raj was vegetarian). And, some are thickened with rice or lentils. I choose to thicken mine by pureeing the vegetables. To be honest, I normally use this soup to clean out vegetables from my refrigerator. But, this recipe will give you a good starting point or idea of how to make a delicious, warm, and comforting Indian soup.

Now, let’s talk about curry for a minute. There are likely hundreds, if not more, types of curry. And India isn’t the only country with curries. Japan, Thailand, and China also have curries, just to name a few other Asian countries. Because there are so many different types of curries, I don’t normally advocate using a premade curry powder, but in this soup it works pretty well.

close up of golden mulligatawny soup in a white bowl garnished with yogurt and parsley.
golden soup in a white bowl garnished with sour cream and parsley

Mulligatawny Soup

Cuisine Indian


  • 1 lb skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 1 potato chopped
  • 1 apple diced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch grated ginger
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • limes, yogurt, cilantro for garnish


  • Poach chicken thighs in the chicken stock until the chicken thighs are cooked through. Shred the chicken and set both it and the stock aside.
  • In another soup pot, heat the oil over a medium to medium-high heat and saute the onions, carrots, celery, and potato. Once the onions and celery are soft, add the tomato, apple, garlic, ginger, and curry powder. Cook until the apple and tomato soften and the spices bloom.
  • Add three cups of the chicken stock and coconut oil. Simmer until all of the vegetables are fully soft. if it starts looking too thick, you can add more chicken stock. When the vegetables are soft, use an immersion blender (or regular blender in batches) to blend the vegetables and stock together. Add the shredded chicken and mix everything to combine, heating until the chicken is warmed through like the soup.
  • Serve the soup with your favorite garnishes. I like a squeeze of lime, yogurt, and cilantro or parsley.

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