I asked Eammon what he wanted for his birthday this year and his response was Mulligatawny soup, so that's what he got. Always nice when the gift giver gets to enjoy the "gift" too! I know in the bowl that this soup doesn't look like much but trust me, it is delicious and has a really good kick to it but seeing that the name of the dish translates to "pepper water," it should have a bit of a kick!
2 TBS. olive oil
2 large onions, diced
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 large carrots, diced
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 TBS. Madras curry powder
1 TBS. Garam Masala
1 TBS. ground coriander
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne * (or to your taste/tolerance)
2 bay leaves
1 1/4 cups dried red lentils
12 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, small dice
1 13.5-oz can lite coconut milk
3 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 TBS fresh ground pepper
salt to taste
Optional: cooked Basmati rice
In a large pot heat the olive oil and then add the onions, garlic, carrots and apples. Sauté until everything is softened, about 15 minutes. Add the Madras curry powder, Garam Masala, coriander, turmeric, cayenne and bay leaves. Mix well and cook for about a minute allowing the spices to toast a little. Add the red lentils and stir until coated with the onion/spice mixture. Add the chicken broth, stir well and simmer until the lentils are very soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the coconut milk, stir to combine and bring everything to a boil. Add the diced chicken, stir to incorporate and reduce heat allowing chicken to just cook through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice & pepper and season to taste with salt.
This can be served as is, or over some cooked Basmati rice.
* We like our food a bit on the spicy side and the heat will increase the next day so add the cayenne to your taste & tolerance.