Indian Mulligatawny Soup

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!

Two bowls of Mulligatawny Indian Soup.

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.

Recipe Ingredients

Mulligatawny Soup Ingredients on a table.

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.

Variations

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.

Onions, carrots, and peppers cooking in a pot.

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.

Spices added into the Mulligatawny Soup pot.

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.

Everything being mixed together in the pot.

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.

Immersion blender in the pot of  Mulligatawny Soup to puree it.

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.

Coconut milk added into the Indian Mulligatawny Stew.

Step #6: Serve topped with cashew and scallions along with homemade naan bread for dipping.

Two bowls of Mulligatawny soup with naan bread on the side.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Mulligatawny mean?

“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.

Can I use green apples instead of red?

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.

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This fragrant Indian Mulligatawny Soup recipe is spiced with curry and made from creamy red lentils, carrots, apples, and coconut milk. Make a double batch and freeze the leftovers!

Indian Mulligatawny Soup Recipe

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!
4.4 from 1252 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 165kcal
Author: Linda
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Ingredients

  • 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
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Instructions

  • 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.

VIDEO

NOTES

Variations
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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 454mg | Potassium: 372mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 143IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 3mg

Please note that sometimes this recipe is misspelled as: Indian Muligatawny Soup recipe, Indian Muligatawny Soup recipe or Indian Mulagatani Soup recipe.

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About the Author

Linda

Hi, I'm Linda! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel adventures from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. Be adventurous and try a new recipe and travel somewhere you have never been before.  Bon Appétit! Bon Voyage!  

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe. It was delicious, my only addition will be more red lentils. My pickiest child said to please add it to the rotation.

  2. 3 stars
    This was all right. It made a lot and was well seasoned. I used the entire can of coconut milk so that I wouldn’t have to deal with a piece of a can. I’ve been eating it over brown rice.

  3. I make this when my Canadian friend she said she had mulligatawny up there and it was nothing like what I make and I make your recipe all the time. Sometimes I do add a few things from other recipes of mulligatawny, but not always.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this for supper, for myself, for the week. I now have to make it again, for my family, who kept raving about how delicious it smells. And it is delicious.
    And inexpensive. And easy to whip up-once you’ve prepared your ingredients.
    Note:I forgot to add the jalapeño and I’m fine for it.