Mulligatawyn soup

Mulligatawyn soup

Spice Kitchen
Jana Liebenstein

A really retro recipe, this dish is one of colonial India’s favourite soups and it is still served in stuffy clubs and dingy hill station hotels. Full of lovely aromatic flavours, this British-influenced ‘pepper water’ is fabulously fragrant and will warm up the coldest evening. A true jewel in the Raj culinary crown!


Quantity Ingredient
250g beef neck, chuck or brisket, diced
1 small onion, sliced
1 teaspoon Ginger paste
1 teaspoon Garlic paste
60g split red lentils or split yellow peas
1 carrot or turnip, peeled and diced
2 1/2-5cm cinnamon stick
12 curry leaves
1 teaspoon turmeric
250ml Fresh coconut milk
or canned coconut milk
4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
or 400g diced tomatoes, drained
4 teaspoons cumin and coriander seeds, roasted and ground
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, roasted and ground
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons lime juice
cooked rice, (optional) to garnish
Fried onions, to garnish
lemon or lime wedges, to garnish


  1. In a large saucepan or stockpot, combine the beef, onion, ginger and garlic pastes, lentils or peas, carrot or turnip, cinnamon, curry leaves and turmeric with 800 ml water. Bring to a boil over a medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour.
  2. When the lentils are soft, stir in the coconut milk, tomato, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, and salt and pepper to taste, and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Serve hot, garnished with a little cooked rice if you have it available, fried onions and lemon or lime wedges.
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