Mulligatawny soup

20160111_140328Brimming with luscious flavours, spiked with healing spices, you will fall in love with my variation on this anglo-indian soup. Muliga (pepper) + thanni (water) are the origins for this british soup that the brits borrowed from my rich tamil heritage 🙂

Last night I happened to rear end a car while driving home on the blusteriest of winter days.. My car buffeted, I was on the streetcar tracks, it was icy, my car screeched to a halt trying to not ram into the car in front that was trying to turn left. But, the elements, the road conditions got out of my hand. I lost control. After a long night of getting towed to the collision center, when I reached home, I kept reliving the episode, quite shaken at the turn of events. Still grateful that I was spared and only the car was a write off. This morning 20160111_140427when I woke up, I felt as if I had gone through a big fever or something, I felt the need to heal. I had made this batch of mulligatawny soup the night before for a friend with a fever and had some left over. Just the perfect soothing, nurturing, spicy, healing soup my mind and body needed. I remembered my grandmother making a variation of this soup and recalled the ingredients from memory. It was finger lickin good!

You need
¼ cup toor dal or pigeon peas (optional)
½ cup tomatoes
1 cm fresh ginger crushed



Spice paste
1 tsp yellow split peas
½ tsp tamarind paste
2 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp curry leaves
2 dry red chilies
Salt to taste
Spice oil
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp curry leaves
Pinch hing

1 tbsp. fresh cilantro

How to

• Cook toor dal if using with ½ cup water. I like to use it to add some protein into this soup. Puree and set aside.
• Heat pan for spice paste. Dry sauté(no oil) the spice paste ingredients. When roasted light brown grind to a thick spice paste with 2 tbsp water. Set aside.


• Heat pan. Add coconut oil. Add mustard seeds, when they splutter toss in curry leaves, hing and turmeric powder. Add tomatoes & lightly sauté till cooked.
• Now add in the toor dal, 1 cup water, fresh ginger & tamarind paste.
• Let everything boil together.

• Add in the spice paste & allow to come to another boil so there are no raw spice smells.
• Garnish with fresh cilantro.
• Serve with rice. I like to use sona masoori rice that is short grained & not sticky for this soup..

Oh!. The comfort of mulligatawny soup. For a few minutes I was transported to my grandma’s kitchen. Nurtured and healed through my car adventure. Hope you enjoy this well kept secret recipe. Doesn’t the broth look pretty and nourishing? I’d love to hear how you enjoyed it. What do you eat when you need nurturing? What’s your favourite go-to comfort food ?



Cumin pepper cold medicine soup

20141120_182721O dear, My boss isn’t well. I haven’t been well. A friend mentioned he’s been under the weather for a while. Cold season blues can really affect our bodies!

When I feel this way-runny eyes, sore throat, I long for my grandmother’s soup. Lightweight, packed with spices, this cold medicine soup is bound to pick you up too.

I paired it with some steamed and sautéed beets, tamil Brahmin style. You have to give it to our ancestors, they knew how to enjoy the good life. And food is such a big part..of life..Don’t you agree, people who enjoy and relish food, really live life!!

Finally a thought on protein since neither the soup, nor the rice, nor the beets are going to satisfy the protein brigade. If you have a guest that needs protein, then just cook some papad in the oven. I enjoy the crunchy texture of papad whenever I make soup.. it’s a must side.

2 cups water
1 tsp tamarind paste
Spice Mix
½ tsp Malabar black pepper pods(any black pepper will do)
1 tbsp crushed fresh ginger
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp curry leaves
½ tsp coconut oil
Salt to taste
Pinch hing

• Pound black pepper and cumin together. I like a texture, so pounding happens in my marble mortar & pestle
 20141120_174714• Mix tamarind paste with water

• Heat coconut oil in pan. Add the crushed black pepper, cumin, hing and curry leaves to hot oil

• Immediately pour the tamarind water into the pan.
• Add salt to taste and let come to boil
 20141120_182030• Remove from heat. Serve with rice

My sinuses got completely cleared. The healing and warming spices in the soup cleansed me. I’m now ready to fall asleep.