Monday 30 January 2012

Chicken Mulligata…what?

Indian spices

Ok, you have to bear with me because the soup obsession hasn’t finished just yet.  Mulligatawny is one of my favourites. It is an Indian type of soup with spices. It is fragrant and has that warming comfort-food factor that I love on cold days. This soup has different variations and is often thickened with rice. Since I learnt a recipe by Annie Bell, the queen of soups, I’ve been making it for years in the winter! It is very quick to make, especially if you have all the ingredients prepped to make your cooking life easier.

If you don’t enjoy too much spice, adjust it according to your taste.

The fresh ingredients
The dry ingredients
Sautee lentils, onion, garlic, chilli and spices. Add
the chicken (already browned)
Add stock and let it cook for 45 min
When ready, take the chicken out of the pot
Separate the meat from the bone
Place the chicken back in the pot and add the coconut milk
My chicken Mulligatawny! Serve with spring onions,
fresh chilli and coriander leaves.

Chicken Mulligatawny (adapted from Annie Bell’s recipe)
Serves 6

Full of flavour and nutrients, this soup can be enjoyed in small portions as it is quite filling - unless you are like my husband, who’s  more than happy to have seconds.


1 tablespoon groundnut oil or ghee
sea salt and black pepper
6 chicken thighs
1 medium fresh chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
1 onion, peeled, halved and finely sliced
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
350g yellow split peas, rinsed
1.2 litres chicken stock
400ml can coconut milk
A juice of 1 lemon

To garnish
chopped coriander
finely sliced spring onions
finely sliced red chilli

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken thighs and drumsticks and brown them on all sides. Once browned, transfer them to a bowl. 
Turn down the heat, add the chilli, ginger, garlic and onion to the pan.  Cook until softened, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the spices and the split peas and return the chicken to the pot. Add the stock and season.
Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for approximately 45 minutes or until the split peas are tender and chicken is separating from the bone. Give the soup a stir to make sure split peas aren't sticking.

Remove chicken pieces and separate the meat from the bones. Return the chicken meat to the soup, add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.

Squeeze the lemon juice and season to taste.

Serve in warm bowls sprinkled with coriander, spring onions and fresh red chilli.

Some of the ingredients and their healthy benefits

Chicken (Gallus domesticus): It’s a rich source of protein. Choose organic or free-range chicken, it is healthier and it will not only taste better but also you won’t be supporting the inhumane battery farms. It provides vitamins B3 (prevention against cell damage) and B6 (for cardiovascular health), besides iron, selenium (essential component of major metabolic pathways) and phosphorus (maintains the health of teeth and bones). Eating chicken helps with the support of your immune system.

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum): It has anti-inflammatory properties and it is often blended in herbal remedies to help fight cold and flu. It may also facilitate the digestion of carbohydrates, alleviate indigestion and colic, lower bad cholesterol and prevent halitosis.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale): It reduces fever and eases asthma symptoms, also helps to lower blood pressure. Plus, it reduces cholesterol and aids circulation. It contains fibre, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and folic acid.

Spring Onion aka Scallion (Allium fistulosum): It’s a great source of vitamin K. It also provides vitamin A, C, folate, calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. Spring onions stabilize blood circulation in the body, lower blood sugar levels and support against gastrointestinal troubles. It is also very good at helping digestion.

Yellow pea (Lathyrus aphaca): It’s a type of legume, and an important part of a traditional diet around the word. As well as high quality protein, it also provides potassium, magnesium, selenium, zinc and B vitamins. It’s a good source of insoluble fibre, which is known to have a cholesterol lowering effect and which promotes regular bowel movement.

Till next week!

1 comment

  1. Hum! deve ser deliciosa! Já tenho uma novidade saborosa para dar conforto, nestas noites de inverno! Obrigada pela sugestão, Margot! Eu sei que vou adorar! Beijinhos!!!


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