Indian food culture has never really had a place for soups, aside from a yakhni. Indian dishes are traditionally served all at once, with everyone sharing. It is hardly a surprise that one of the most prominent dishes of the Anglo-Indian repertoire is a merge of cultures. Mulligatawny soup is the perfect combination of Sri Lankan, Indian and British food culture.
Mulligatawny soup is Sri Lankan and coming over to Tamil Nadu during the British Raj. The word Mulligatawny comes from the Tamil language. It is an amalgamation of ‘milagu’ (pepper) and ‘tunes’ (water), known as ‘pepper water’. During the British Raj, between 1858 and 1947, the British soldiers stubbornly refused to alter their way of dinning, requiring a soup at the start of the meal.
The problem was soup was not a common dish in India. The Tamil servants watered down the ‘pepper water’ stew they had at home in Sri Lanka. The British eventually asked them to add mutton, chicken and other ingredients to suit their taste and this is how the many variations of Mulligatawny began.
Mulligatawny soup was originally prepared with peppers, hence the name, ‘pepper water’. The base is usually chicken stock, however mutton and vegetable stock can also be used along with curry. It is then bulked up with chicken, coconut cream, onion, celery, almonds and apples. And further garnished with rice or in the vegetarian version lentils.
Although harking back to the Sri Lankan pepper broth, Mulligatawny is now a aromatic blend of British tastes and Indian exotic spices. It is the perfect combination of East meets West with its spices and richly dense ingredients. It is the perfect comfort food and a staple to the British pub menu.
We’ve taken this cultural amalgamation and added our own flare to bring you this rich blend of savoury goodness. Our Mulligatawny is a vegetarian version of the Anglo-Indian variant. Using lentils to beef it up in an aromatic broth it conjures memories of home cooked meals around the dinner table. Only on the menu for a limited time through May and June, be sure to enjoy this winter soup at your local Soul Origin store.