Mulligatawny Soup

Firstly I have to apologise to Sarah.   My photo of this soup is not a pretty picture.   The picture on her blog, Sarah’s Kitchen looks much more appealing, and before you turn away in horror, it did taste a lot better than it looks.

Although I had heard of mulligatawny before making it, I had never actually had it before and didn’t really know what it was like.  All I knew was that it was a curried soup that dated back to the time of the British Empire in India. The style of the soup is therefore quite traditionally British but with some Indian flavours from the curry powder, ginger and coconut milk.  It makes a very thick warming soup that is hearty enough to be eaten as a main meal, especially if you serve it with some bread on the side too.   We chose to have garlic and coriander naan but any bread would be nice.  A crusty English roll would also go nicely.

I was paired with Sarah’s Kitchen for the Secret Recipe Club.  Sarah is a British girl living in the US and has a lovely mixture of British, American and international recipes on her blog.


Ingredients – serves 3-4

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

3 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp curry powder

2 tbsp flour

1 apple, peeled, cored and grated

1 thumb-sized knob of ginger, grated

1/2 can coconut milk

600ml chicken stock

2 tbsp cooked rice

1-2 chicken breasts, sliced into bite-sized strips or leftover cooked chicken

How to Make Mulligatawny Soup

1. Heat a little oil in a saucepan.  If using raw chicken, add the chicken.  When cooked remove and set aside. If using cooked chicken start at step 2.

2. If necesary add a little more oil and add the onion, carrot and celery.  Cook for about 5 minutes until soft.

3. Add the tomato puree, flour and curry powder.  Stir in well and continue to cook for a couple of minutes.  Add a dash of water if it is too dry.

4. Add the ginger and apple and cook for another couple of minutes.

5. Add the chicken, rice, coconut milk and stock.  Bring to the boil stirring then lower to a simmer.  Keep stirring every so often so it doesn’t stick on the bottom.  It should soon thicken and then it’s ready to serve.

To see what other participants in the Secret Recipe Club have made, click on the link below:

Chicken Biryani and Spinach Raita

In my opinion, you can never have too much homemade Indian food.  I normally choose to make dishes with lots of sauce, which explains why I’ve never made a biryani before.  Whenever I’m out in a restaurant or ordering a takeaway I consider it, but somehow the lure of a saucy dish wins each time.   However, this month biryani won.    I was paired with Poornima from Tasty Treats for Taste and Create.   Now, as Poornima is from India but living in the US at the moment, she has loads of delicious saucy Indian curries on her blog, as well as other dishes too, so it wasn’t that I couldn’t find a dish with lots of sauce, no, I just fancied a change.  After all, it is the new year.

Poornima suggested serving the biryani with a raita and as I had lots of spinach in the fridge I decided to make a spinach one.    I haven’t made many raitas before so I searched for one and settled on this one from My Kitchen Experiments.   It was easy to make and was delicious alongside the biryani.   The only thing I would change would be to make more of it, as it provided the perfect cool saucy accompaniment to the biryani.   Next time I would also add a little less chilli powder as the biryani turned out to be incredibly spicy (I think the chillies I used were hotter than expected) and less chilli powder would have made it more cooling.  Even so, I’m delighted to have discovered a new love of biryani and raita and am already excited about trying out some more new raita recipes.

Click here to see Poornima’s original recipe for the Biryani.

I am also sending this to Michelle at Food, Football and a Baby as she is hosting this month’s Sweet Heat Chilli Challenge and the theme is Indian Food.

Ingredients for Biryani

Step 1

200g chicken, diced

2tbsp yoghurt

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Small knob ginger, grated

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/4 tsp ground turmeric


Step 2

100g basmati rice

5 peppercorns

1/2 cinnamon stick

3 cloves

2 cardamom pods

1 star anise

2 bay leaves


200ml water

Step 3

1/2 onion, finely diced

2 chilli peppers, finely sliced

Handful of coriander leaves (cilantro)
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
How to Make Chicken Biryani
1. Prepare the marinade for the chicken. Mix all the marinade ingredients into the yoghurt and then add the chicken.   Coat well and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
2. Wash the rice.  Put a little oil in a pan.   Add the whole spices (peppercorns, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, star anise and bay leaves).  Fry for about 20 seconds then add the rice. Fry for another minute until any water left with the rice has evaporated. Then add the 200ml of water.    Take off the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
3. Heat a little oil in another pan.    Add the chopped onions and chillies.   Fry until softened and slightly browned.  Then add the ground spices and the chopped coriander leaves.   Fry for a minute then add the chicken and marinade.
4. Fry the chicken until it is almost fully cooked and the pan is almost dry. Then pour the water and rice into the pan with the chicken.   Bring to the boil and then cover the pan and lower the heat.   Cook over a low heat for 15 minutes then turn the heat off and leave to stand for about 10 minutes.
5. Serve the Biryani with the raita on the side.
Ingredients for Spinach Raita
2 handfuls of spinach
3 tbsp yoghurt
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp chilli powder
How to make Spinach Raita
1. Wash the spinach and microwave for 1 minute.   Rinse in cold water and leave to drain in a colander.
2. Roast the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan and leave to cool.
3. When the seeds are cool crush slightly and add to a bowl with the chilli powder, salt and yoghurt.
4. Squeeze any extra moisture out of the spinach.  Chop roughly.
5. Mix the spinach in to the yoghurt and serve alongside the biryani.

Kale and Bean Soup

This is a really easy and filling soup that makes a complete meal.  It’s incredibly healthy and makes me feel good just looking at it.   I only get kale a couple of times a year.  I love the strong flavour but unfortunately my husband is not so keen.   I think it goes really well in  a soup.  As it’s quite a tough leaf it doesn’t disappear to nothing like spinach does.  I love that fact it keeps its shape and flavour.   The beef stock is also good in this soup and I think it goes perfectly with the kale.  I sometimes think if I lived alone I would be really lazy about cooking and just live on these types of one-pot meals.

I am sending this recipe to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sundays

Ingredients – Serves 2

1 can canellini beans

3 large handfuls of kale

1 carrot, diced

1 onion, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic

500 ml beef stock

1 small chilli, seeds removed

2 inches of chorizo sausage, chopped into chunks

How to make Kale and Bean Soup

1. In a saucepan fry the onion, garlic, chorizo and chilli.   Add the carrot, beans and kale.   Cover with beef stock.

2. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

I think this must be the shortest recipe ever!