Mulligatawny (Indian Vegetable Soup)

This soup is Anglo-Indian i.e. the influence is both from Asia and Europe. Originally, Mulligatawny means "peppered water" (Millagu means "pepper" and Tahnni means "water") however that does not mean that the soup is hot in flavour as it is actually very mild. Traditionally Mulligatawny soups are different between regions and while in some regions they are prepared very hot in flavour with lots of chillies, many prepare it with rice, chicken and even coconut milk, turmeric and vegetables like in the one below. I love mild soups and can't tolerate ones that burn my mouth. I once dined at a restaurant in Brick Lane, London (the famous Indian area). I ordered a Mulligatawny soup but the instance I put the first spoon into my mouth, my eyes started watering, my nose was leaking, I was red in the face and I started sweating through the scalp. I was SO uncomfortable and in my view, the meal was ruined since I could not taste a thing, my mouth was absolutely numb. My recipe is not one of those soups, fortunately. The soup is fine for those who are gluten intolerant since it doesn't have any wheat. It's also vegan and doesn't contain any milk. If you enjoy meat, you can add a little cooked lamb or chicken into the soup.

You will need a food processor (or a blender/hand blender) for this recipe.

A lovely Indian vegetable soup, packed with vitamins and fibre

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose (dairy) free
  • Nut free
  • Vegan

Mulligatawny (Indian Vegetable Soup)

Serves 5-6


  • 10 grams fresh ginger, peeled and chopped or grated finely
  • 1 onion, chopped coarsely
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 carrot, chopped coarsely
  • 1 large potato (300 grams), chopped coarsely
  • 1 apple, cored, peeled and chopped finely
  • 2 chilli peppers (green), chopped finely
  • 200 grams lentils (red)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper (black)
  • 3 yeast free vegetable stock cubes
  • 1 litre (34 fluid oz) water
  • 400 millilitres (13½ fluid oz) coconut milk
  • Handful fresh coriander (optional), chopped coarsely


  1. Remove the skin from the 10 grams fresh ginger (you can do this with a spoon or a small knife as the skin is thin). Grate or chop the ginger finely.
  2. Peel the onion and chop coarsely.
  3. Peel the 4 garlic cloves and chop finely.
  4. Peel the carrot and the potato and chop coarsely.
  5. Peel and core the apple and chop finely.
  6. Cut the 2 chilli peppers in halves, scoop out the seeds and membranes and chop finely. You might want to use plastic gloves if you have sensitive skin.
  7. Wash the 300 grams lentils under running water for a few seconds. Drain the lentils.
  8. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in the saucepan.
  9. Place chopped onion and garlic in the saucepan and heat for 5 minutes or until the onion turns soft. Add a couple of tablespoons water if needed.
  10. Add chopped chilli peppers, grated ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1½ teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, ¼ teaspoon pepper (black).
  11. Heat for couple of minutes or until very fragrant.
  12. Add chopped carrot, apple, potato, lentils and 1 litre water along with 3 vegetable stock cubes. Turn the heat up and let simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables become tender.
  13. If you want a coarse texture blend half the soup in a food processor or blender. Allow the soup to cool down for 15 minutes and blend in batches. Or you can use a hand blender. Blend the soup for 1 minute for a smooth texture.
  14. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 400 millilitres coconut milk and turn the heat up (without boiling). Let simmer for 5 minutes.
  15. Add more water to the soup if a thinner soup is desired.
  16. Add a handful of chopped, fresh coriander if desired.


  • There are several versions of the original Mulligatawny soup out there but this one is very wholesome. You can find recipes with pistachios, eggplants, cashews, celery stalks, sweetcorn, grilled tomatoes and even meat so substitute some of the ingredients above for variation.
  • Serve with nice bread.
  • You can freeze leftover coconut milk. Freeze in an ice cube tray and use in soups, smoothies and more.
  • The soup is even better the next day once the flavours have really settled. Pour the soup into plastic containers and re-heat the next day.
  • For a thinner soup add more water.
  • You can use butter or olive oil instead of coconut oil       
  • If the coconut oil is cold (in which case it becomes solid), place the jar in a bowl filled with hot water for a couple of minutes.       
  • You can use regular stock cubes instead of yeast free ones.
  • You can use chicken stock instead of vegetable stock.   
  • The soup can be frozen and reheated later.