If you've never heard of mulligatawny before, it's an Indian soup made from pureed red lentils and coconut milk. It may vary some, depending on the Indian restaurant, but it's usually never "hot" spicy, just flavorful. The very first time I had mulligatawny was 12 years ago,when a good friend of mine decided it was about time that I be properly introduced to Indian food. At the time, I lived in Nebraska and the only logical place to go for Indian cuisine was "The Oven." My friend had prepared me for mulligatawny by telling me, "Most people either love it or hate it." For me, it was love at first bite.
I discovered this recipe a few years back in my beloved "Cooking Light" magazine. I had tried a few other mulligatawny recipes prior to this, but I think this one ranks supreme above the rest. To give you even more incentive to try it, you should know that it's quite simple to prepare and extremely healthy (loaded with fiber, protein, and iron).
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth (preferrably fat-free, lower sodium)
- 1 cup dried, small red lentils
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
- 3 T. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. grated, peeled fresh ginger
- 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 T. fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- Hot cooked basmati rice
Combine broth, lentils, and onion in a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Remove pot from heat and let stand 5-10 minutes, or until it has cooled slighly. Pour lentil mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Return mixture to stockpot.
Place coconut milk, tomato paste, ginger, cumin and turmeric in the blender; process until smooth. Add coconut milk mixture to the lentil mixture in the stockpot and stir until combined. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice, salt and pepper. To serve, place about 1/4 cup cooked basmati rice in each bowl and ladle soup over the rice.
**Tip -- You can get light coconut milk at any grocery store, but Trader Joe's has it for just 99 cents a can! Also, my family is quite fond of Trader Joe's Indian Naan Bread, found in frozen foods (only $2.29 for 4 large pieces of bread). If you don't have access to TJ's, naan bread can also be found at ethnic grocery stores.