Creamy Mulligatawny Soup
Author: Guest Blogger

This post is authored by Shubhra Ramineni – author of the award-winning cookbook, Entice with Spice, Easy Indian Recipes for Busy People.  The cookbook is the winner of the 2010 Gourmand Award for Best Indian cookbook in the United States, and top 4 in the world.  Shubhra uses simple techniques and easily available ingredients and gives lots of time-saving and plan ahead tips in her nearly 100 recipes with helpful photographs.  Shubhra also teaches cooking classes at Sur La Table, Central Market, Williams-Sonoma, Rice Epicurean Markets and Whole Foods Markets.  More information on her upcoming events and classes can be found at and you can join her “Entice with Spice” Facebook page for chances to win great prizes!  Her cookbook is available worldwide at major bookstores such as Barnes & Nobles, Om Bookshop in Delhi, India, and on

Creamy Mulligatawny Soup

Mulligatawny soup is not a true Indian dish, and instead is a recipe that was created from a blend of British and Indian tastes. The word mulligatawny originally comes from the Indian dialect, Tamil, and translates to “pepper water.”  I was actually first introduced to this dish while watching the Seinfeld television show, in which the “soup Nazi” character selectively served his mulligatawny soup to customers he thought were worthy of the taste.  This soup is made with skinned and split green lentils that are yellow when skinned (called dhuli moong daal in Hindi).

This warm and filling soup gets its rich consistency from heavy cream, which also makes this soup a hearty, comforting dish to enjoy during chilly weather!

Serves 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Refrigerator Life: 3 days
Freezer Life: 1 month
Reheating Method:  Place the refrigerated or defrosted soup in a microwave, cover and stir periodically.  Or, place it in a saucepan over medium-low heat and stir periodically.


½ cup (100 g) dried, skinned and spilt green lentils (dhuli moong daal)
3¼ cups (815 ml) water
1 small fully ripe tomato, such as plum (Roma), cut in half
½ cup (60 g) frozen green peas
1 small russet potato (about ¼ lb/125 g), peeled and cut into  ½-in (1.25-cm) cubes
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup (65 ml) heavy cream
8 to 12 fresh mint leaves, rinsed (for garnish) (optional)

1.  Place the lentils on a plate.  Sift through them and remove any grit.  Transfer the lentils to a small bowl.  Rinse the lentils three times by repeatedly filling the bowl with cold water and carefully draining off the water.  It is okay if the water is a bit frothy.

2.  Place the lentils, water and tomato in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a rolling boil over high heat.  It is okay if the water gets frothy. Stir and reduce the heat to medium.  Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and lightly mashing the tomato.

3.  Reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan.  Simmer until the lentils are completely soft, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.  Turn off the heat and transfer the contents to a blender.

4.  Purée until smooth.  Pour the blended lentil mixture back into the saucepan.  (Or, use an immersion blender and purée right in the saucepan.)  Add the peas, potato, turmeric, red pepper, salt and black pepper.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. 

5.  Stir and reduce the heat to medium-low.  Cover the saucepan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so to keep the soup from burning on the bottom of the pan.

6.  Add the heavy cream.  Stir to combine.  Cover the saucepan.  Cook, stirring every minute, until you can easily insert a knife through the potato cubes, about 5 minutes.  Enjoy now or let cool to room temperature and refrigerate for later! Garnish each portion with 2 or 3 mint leaves before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Shubhra Ramineni from her Indian cookbook, Entice with Spice – Easy Indian Recipes for Busy People      
Copyright © 2010, 2011 Shubhra Ramineni.  All rights reserved.


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7 Responses to “Creamy Mulligatawny Soup”

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