For a long time I didn’t know what Mulligatawny was. What was this soup that my husband kept asking me to make? So, I did a little research and found that this dish is yet another British hybrid of an Indian recipe only this time made with added beef, thickeners such as flour or coconut cream and usually including a pre-made curry powder.
Now, I’ve learned many things in my Pakistani and Indian cooking classes over the years including the necessity of a good pressure cooker, meat tastes better on the bone, always have ginger & garlic paste in the fridge and that very few people in either Pakistan or India use curry powder. What do they use instead? Spices. And good ones at that: cumin, turmeric, coriander, chili, fenugreek, cardamon, cinnamon and a dozen others. That is how you make a good home cooked curry.
Reason demands that I use individual spices rather than a curry powder for a good Mulligatawny. Why stop there? Let’s class it up a bit by the addition of a pile of Basmati rice and slices of seared beef which cooks in the hot broth as it is poured lovingly over the top. Sprinkle on some fresh cilantro and pickled shallots, and you’ve got yourself a Mulligatawny soup to end all others.