There’s always been something about the smell of a good curry that just kind of makes me happy. I loved when my mom made chicken curry when I was a kid (and she hated cooking, so it was kind of a big deal), I fell head over heels in love with Indian food in college, and lately I can’t walk through Chinatown without buying a few curry pastries and chowing down as I walk back towards the subway station.
I was first introduced to Mulligatawny through my roommate in college, who didn’t cook very often, but every now and then would make this curried chicken soup dish that I loved. And bless her heart, she was so kind to me, she’d always let me know when she was making it so I’d know that I didn’t need to get dinner on campus.
Cut to over a dozen years later, and the cafeteria I work at serves mulligatawny once a month, and it’s my second favorite day of the month (the first being when we serve the Tuscan Beef soup, which I need to reverse-engineer the recipe for next.) I realize now that what we make at my cafeteria, and what my roommate made, are probably not in any way authentic, but they’re dang tasty.
It took me a good bit of searching, but this recipe here is the closest base recipe to what we do at work: Food Network Mulligatawny Recipe
Naturally, since I am incapable of measuring, I ended up making about double the recipe. Also I subbed out the heavy cream for 1 can of coconut milk for extra sweetness. I used more curry powder, but I couldn’t say how much because a) it was a slightly obscene amount and b) I just kept tasting and adding curry powder until it tasted right. I also added several dashes of cayenne pepper, because a little kick always makes me happy.
For the not-insane like me, though, or for anyone just exploring curry flavored things, I would say go ahead and follow the recipe to spec the first time around and then start playing with it. It’s a thick, hearty soup (seriously, it’s fed me and my husband all week long and I’m still not tired of it) and it thickens as the rice absorbs more of the soup, so you’ll probably need to add more water or chicken broth. But it’s still one of my favorite soups.. pretty much ever, and I hope you’ll like it too. Cheers!