No Soup for You: Creamy Mulligatawny Soup

By Shubhra Ramineni

Mulligatawny soup is not a true Indian dish, and instead is a recipe that was created from a blend of British and Indian tastes. The word mulligatawny originally comes from the Indian dialect, Tamil, and translates to “pepper water.” I was actually first introduced to this dish while watching the Seinfeld television show, in which the “soup Nazi” character selectively served his mulligatawny soup to customers he thought were worthy of it.  This soup is made with yellow lentils, called dhuli moong dal in Hindi, and I like to add peas and potatoes to it. This warm and filling soup gets its rich consistency from heavy cream, which also makes this soup a hearty, comforting dish to enjoy during chilly weather! Enjoy this soup as an appetizer, or along with the main course, or by itself for a light, yet satisfying meal.

Mulligatawny Soup

Creamy Mulligatawny Soup

Serves: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Refrigerator Life: 3 days 

Freezer Life: 1 month

Reheating Method:  Place the refrigerated or defrosted soup in a microwave, cover and stir periodically.  Alternatively, place it in a saucepan over medium-low heat and stir periodically.


½ cup (100 g) dried yellow lentils (dhuli moong daal)
3¼ cups (815 ml) water
1 tomato, cut in half
½ cup (60 g) fresh or frozen green peas
1 small russet potato (about ¼ lb/125 g), peeled and cut into ½-in (1.25 cm) cubes
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup (65 ml) heavy cream
8 to 12 fresh mint leaves, rinsed (for garnish) (optional)


1. Place the lentils in a small bowl.  Rinse the lentils three times by repeatedly filling the bowl with cold water and carefully draining off the water. It is okay if the water is a bit frothy. Pour the lentils into a sieve to drain.

2.  Place the lentils, water and tomato in a medium saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. It is okay if the water gets frothy. Stir and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and lightly mash the tomato.

3.  Reduce the heat to low and partially cover the saucepan. Simmer for about 7 minutes or until the lentils are completely soft. Stir occasionally and continue to mash the tomato. Turn off the heat and transfer the contents to a blender.

4.  Purée until smooth.  Pour the blended lentil mixture back into the saucepan. (Or, use an immersion blender and purée right in the saucepan.)  Add the peas, potato, turmeric, red pepper, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat.  

5.  Stir and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the saucepan and cook for 5 minutes. Stir every minute or so to keep the soup from burning on the bottom of the pan.

6. Add the heavy cream. Stir to combine. Cover the saucepan. Cook for about 5 minutes and stir every minute until you can easily insert a knife through the potato cubes.  Enjoy now or let cool to room temperature and refrigerate or freeze for later!  Garnish each portion with 2 or 3 mint leaves before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Shubhra Ramineni from her Indian cookbook,

 “Entice with Spice – Easy and Quick Indian Recipes for Beginners     | Copyright © 2020 Shubhra Ramineni. All rights reserved.

About Shubhra Ramineni:

Shubhra Ramineni is a first-generation Indian American raised in Houston, TX. Shubhra grew up enjoying healthy, traditional Indian food and she learned to cook from her mother, an excellent home cook, and a professional dietitian. Determined to eat well despite her busy schedule as a chemical engineer with an MBA, Shubhra set out to adapt traditional Indian recipes for the lifestyles of today’s professionals and busy moms like her, creating dozens of delicious, easy-to-prepare Indian recipes with both English and metric measurements in her award-winning cookbooks, Entice with Spice, Easy and Quick Indian Recipes for Beginners, and Healthy Indian Vegetarian Cooking (both available on Amazon).  Her no-fuss cooking methods and time-saving tips will remove any intimidation of cooking Indian food. Follow Shubhra as ‘Spice Girl Kitchen’ on Instagram to see what she is cooking next in her kitchen! Her website is

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