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Mulligatawny Madhur Jaffrey′s way

Jaffrey appropriates this British creation for “the Anglo-Indian community in India,” people of mixed Indian and British ancestry. That is fair enough, for Anglo-Indians in this sense of the term have, like the British in Britain, made the dish their own. This iteration of the soup is more ‘Indianized’ than some in its use of chickpea flour and separate spices in addition to commercial curry powder, which Jaffrey considers essential to the authenticity of this hybrid dish. A good recipe if a bit more arduous than strictly necessary. For four as a main course, more as a starter.


  • India_elephant.jpg4 Tablespoons blanched almonds
  • 5 Tablespoons chickpea flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1 lb boneless lamb or boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 4 smashed and minced cloves garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (see the Notes)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (see the Notes)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2-3 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • lots of lemon or lime wedges


  1. Soak the almonds overnight in hot water as it cools.
  2. Throw the almonds into a food processor or blender with the flour and first cup of chicken stock. Blast the almonds and stock to form a paste.
  3. Pour the oil into a big skillet on high heat. Once it simmers brown the meat and remove it.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium, stir the garlic and ginger into the residual fat, then stir all the spice into the mix.
  5. Whisk the quart of stock into the mulligatawny spice, then the almond paste.
  6. Add the browned meat to the stock, bring the soup to a boil and then simmer an hour if for lamb, about half an hour for chicken.
  7. Check the soup for salt and then add the citrus juice.
  8. Serve the soup hot (obviously) with rice and the lemon or lime wedges.



-Madhur Jaffrey specifies hot curry powder, but the amount of cayenne more reasonably belongs to you. She likes Bolst’s Curry powder, which is good; but be warned, its ‘mild’ as opposed to ‘hot’ curry mix is hot as hell.

-Jaffrey, like so many ethnically Indian cooks, goes light on the turmeric, recommending but ¼ teaspoon. To our taste a lot more is appealing so we have, inauthenticly enough, added more.

-In an alternative mulligatawny published by the glossy food magazine Saveur, Jaffrey specifies plain all purpose flour in place of the chickpea. Her recipe will not suffer from the substitution.