This fragrant Indian Mulligatawny Soup recipe is spiced with curry and made from creamy red lentils, carrots, apples, and coconut milk. It is ready in an hour, with only 15 minutes of real work! Make a double batch and freeze the leftovers!
I love how the flavors in this Mulligatawny Soup meld together to create a bowl that’s both comforting and exotic. The spiciness of the red jalapeño is perfectly tempered by the creaminess of the coconut milk, making each bite a delightful experience.
I can’t get enough of the way the sweet apples and earthy lentils come together, making this dish irresistibly satisfying. For another lentil soup that is satisfying, give my Vegan Bavarian Lentil Soup a try.
Table of Contents
The base of this Mulligatawny Soup is creamy red lentils. I love the texture and subtle earthiness the lentils bring to the dish, and if you are a lentil lover like me, check out my Mujaddara: Spiced Lentils, Rice and Onions.
Carrots, apples, and onions bring in a mix of sweetness and depth, while the red jalapeño adds a pleasant kick. A medley of aromatic spices—curry powder, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, and cardamom—infuse the soup with warmth and complexity.
You will love how the addition of coconut milk elevates the dish to a creamy, luxurious level that balances out the spices and heat.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Dairy-Free: The recipe calls for butter, but you can easily substitute this with vegetable oil to make it dairy-free.
Vegan: To make this recipe vegan, you’ll need to do two things. First, replace the butter with vegetable oil. Second, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. If you like vegan recipes, check out these Vegan Blueberry Muffins.
How to Make Mulligatawny Soup
Step #1: Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and jalapeno, then sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until the onions have softened.
Step #2: Add the garlic, ginger, apples, and diced tomatoes to the pot. Sauté for another 3 minutes. Then add in all of the spices and toss to coat.
Step #3: Add in the lentils and broth and let the contents come to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
Step #4: Puree about 75% of the ingredients using either an immersion blender after transferring a portion of the contents to a bowl to not be pureed. If you don’t have an immersion blender, then you can transfer a portion of the contents a standard blender. Leaving some of the chunks whole adds a nice texture and consistency to the soup.
Step #5: Return the soup to the pot if needed. Then stir in the coconut milk. Taste, and adjust salt and black pepper as needed.
Step #6: Serve topped with cashew and scallions along with homemade naan bread for dipping.
Frequently Asked Questions
“Mulligatawny” is derived from Tamil words that roughly translate to “pepper water.” The soup is an Anglo-Indian invention and was originally a thin, spicy broth.
Yes, you can use green apples, like granny smith apples, but they will give a tarter flavor compared to the sweetness of red apples.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, simply transfer the cooled Mulligatawny Soup into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to 4-5 days.
To freeze the soup, let it cool down to room temperature first. Then portion it into freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty zip-top bags, leaving some space at the top for expansion. Seal tightly and store it in the freezer, where it will keep for up to 2-3 months for best quality.
To reheat the soup, simply pour the thawed soup into a pot and warm it over medium heat on the stovetop, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired temperature. If you’re using the microwave, place the soup in a microwave-safe container and heat in 30-second increments, stirring between each, until warm.
Indian Mulligatawny Soup Recipe
- 1/4 cup butter - or vegetable oil for vegan
- 1 yellow onion - chopped
- 1 carrot - peeled and diced
- 1 red jalapeno - seeded and diced
- 3 garlic cloves - minced
- 2 teaspoons peeled and minced ginger root
- 2 small firm apples - peeled, cored and diced
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup red lentils - uncooked
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2/3 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Roasted cashews for garnish
- Chopped cilantro and/or scallions for garnish
- Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and jalapeno, then saute for 4 to 5 minutes or until the onions have softened.
- Add the garlic, ginger, apples, and diced tomatoes to the pot. Saute for another 3 minutes. Then add in all of the spices and toss to coat.
- Add in the lentils and broth and let the contents come to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Puree about 75% of the ingredients using either an immersion blender or by transferring a portion of the contents to the bowl of a standard blender. Leave some of the chunks whole, as it adds a nice texture and consistency to the soup.
- Return the soup to the pot if needed, then stir in the coconut milk. Taste, and adjust salt and black pepper as needed.
- Serve topped with cashew and scallions along with naan bread for dipping.
Please note that sometimes this recipe is misspelled as: Indian Muligatawny Soup recipe, Indian Muligatawny Soup recipe or Indian Mulagatani Soup recipe.