Constance Spry, a bestselling British cookbook author from the mid-twentieth century, includes four mulligatawnys and a “Potage Pondicherry” that is no more distinct from the mulligatawnys than they are from each other. All differ, but only by degree. The Pondicherry soup is a quick and easy variation on the lighter species of mulligatawny.
- 3 or 4 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced quite thin
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 heaped teaspoon curry powder
- 2½ cups chicken stock
- 1½ oz rice by weight
- ½ cup milk
- salt and pepper
- Blanch the leeks in boiling water.
- Drain them (save the stock for something else).
- Melt the butter in a heavy pot over medium heat, add the leeks and cooking them, shaking and stirring the pot, until dry.
- Stir the curry powder uniformly into the leeks, then add the stock, rice and milk.
- Simmer the soup for about 30 minutes, then puree it with a hand blender, food processor or blender, check for salt and pepper, then reheat the soup and serve it.
-It is by no means clear why Spry considered this soup a creature of Pondicherry, the French enclave in India; its ingredients and technique are indistinguishable from the Anglo-Indian.
-Spry adds a liaison of egg yolk and a Tablespoon of cream to enrich the soup at the end of step 5. If you choose to follow her lead, do not allow the soup to return to a boil after adding the liaison or it will curdle. As a less fraught alternative, Spry suggests stirring some butter into the soup immediately before service.