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Mulligatawny Soup

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This fragrant Mulligatawny Soup recipe is spiced with curry, garam masala, and turmeric. An incredibly delicious soup, ready in under 30 minutes, is filled with tomatoes, apples, carrots, and chicken.

Bowl of Mulligatawny Soup with fried cashews and herbs

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Rich in British and Indian history, Mulligatawny Soup is a delicious hardy soup packed with the curried spices we love. And is a perfect recipe for leftover chicken!

The seasoning in this soup is everything! While robust, the combination of garam masala, ground coriander, curry powder, ground turmeric, cayenne pepper, ground cloves and bay leaves makes for the most amazing soup.

Mulligatawny Soup is one of my favorite hearty soups, perfect for cool weather, or for me… in any weather.

Origins of Mulligatawny Soup

“The Indian antecedent to my favorite soup, mulligatawny, likely was a thin, spicy lentil broth. The British thickened it, added meat, but, thankfully, kept the glorious Indian spices.” —Madhur Jaffrey, author of Curry Nation (Ebury, 2012)

Mulligatawny is a rich curried soup of Anglo/Indian origins. It is an anglicized version of the Tamil (a southern Indian Dravidian language) word for “pepper water” or “pepper broth.”

It became popular with British employees of the East India Company who were stationed in India during the late 18th century. When they returned home, they brought the recipe back to England, and other Commonwealth countries, especially Australia.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much leftover chicken should I reserve for this recipe?

You’ll need about 2 1/2 cups of cooked chicken, which is about half a rotisserie chicken.

What should I serve with this soup?

I like to serve the soup with traditional chapati, which is an Indian flatbread, but naan is also delicious. Chapati and naan are both flour-based Indian flatbreads. Naan is soft and leavened. Chapati on the other hand is unleavened and rolled out much thinner than naan.

Have you got any topping suggestions?

Traditional toppings include chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, and fried cashews are especially nice.

Can I speed things up by making this in my Instant Pot?

Check out my recipe for Instant Pot Mulligatawny Soup instead!

Mulligatawny Soup in a clay bowl.

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Bowl of Mulligatawny Soup with fried cashews and herbs

Indian Mulligatawny Soup

This fragrant Indian Mulligatawny Soup is spiced with curry, garam masala, and turmeric. An incredibly delicious soup filled with tomatoes, apples, carrots, and chicken.
5 from 4 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings



  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander ground
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 cups chicken stock low sodium
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 Roma tomatoes chopped
  • 1 large apple cubed
  • 1 medium carrot sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper chopped
  • 1/2 roasted or rotisserie chicken or 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken


  • Melt the butter in a dutch oven or soup pot. Then add chopped onion and cook until tender. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another minute, or until fragrant. Sprinkle flour and continue to cook one more minute.
  • To the onion/flour mixture, add garam masala, coriander, curry, sugar, turmeric and cayenne. Cook until you can smell the fragrant spices, about a minute.
  • Gradually, add the juice of a lemon, chicken stock and water slowly, stirring constantly. Then add the bay leaf, chicken, tomatoes, apple, carrot and green pepper. Heat to boiling; and immediately reduce the heat.
  • Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley if desired. Discard bay leaf before serving.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 472mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Soup
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chicken curry soup, Mulligatawny, mulligatawny recipe, mulligatawny soup, Mulligatawny soup recipe


  1. 5 stars
    More than 50 years on this planet and I’d never eaten Mulligatawny soup. Alan said he used to love it, so I thought I’d give it a go.
    Found this recipe and made it tonight.
    Bloody loverlee!!
    I’ve bookmarked your website and will definitely try more of your recipes.
    I’ve also shared this one on Facebook and Mastodon
    Elle xx

    1. I’m so happy you found this recipe, Elle! I love this soup, but I’m not sure it is a widely familiar to many. I love the story of its history as well. Mulligatawny is one of our family favorites I seem to crave when the weather turns chilly. Thank you so much for trying it and sharing it on Facebook! And tell Alan “Hi” and thank him for encouraging you to try it :)!

      1. 5 stars
        You’re so right! Although many friends commented on Facebook about their opinions of Mulligatawny soup… I did have a couple who hadn’t tried it either (both from mainland Europe rather than the UK). They’re both off to try your recipe now!
        As for me – we had enough soup left to freeze for another meal – but the recipe is also now printed off and popped into my “keepers” recipe folder too.
        On another note… I wrote a recipe book a few years back. It contains more than 120 Spanish recipes (in English). I’d be very happy to send you a free ebook copy (maybe there’s a recipe or two that you’d like to try yourself, or replicate for your website). Anyway – if you’d like a copy… pop me an email to elle@gandy-draper.com and I’ll whizz one straight to your inbox.
        Have a wonderful week!
        Elle xx

        1. That makes me so happy! I love introducing new recipes — and trying them myself. I would love to try some of your Spanish recipes! I’ll look forward to it!!

  2. How do I print off your recipes? I tried to print the one for Muligatwany soup and could not find the print button.

    1. Hi Elysa. This soup was on my “update list” for next week to convert to a printable recipe card. I moved it up to today – you should be able to now!

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