Curried Chicken and Vegetable Soup (Mulligatawny)
- 1 chicken, about 3 lb., cut into 8 to 10
serving pieces and skinned
- 1 small bunch fresh cilantro
- 2 black or 4 green cardamom pods, lightly
- 2 cassia leaves, broken into bits
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 boiling potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups chopped tomato
- 2 Tbs. cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water,
- 1 cup coconut milk, light cream or milk
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
- 1/4 cup usli ghee or unsalted butter
- 1 Tbs. minced garlic
- 2 tsp. ground garam masala or curry powder
(see related recipes at left) or cumin
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 1/4 cups hot cooked long-grain white rice
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Add the remaining 4 cups water to the cooking liquid and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and boil gently for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain through a fine-mesh sieve and return the stock to the pot. Discard the contents of the sieve.
Add 1 cup of the onion to the pot along with the carrots, potatoes and tomato and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the vegetables are very soft, about 25 minutes.
Remove from the heat and, working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor or blender until smooth. Strain the soup, if necessary to remove lumps, and return it to the pot. It should be the consistency of a cream soup. If it is not, stir in as much of the cornstarch mixture as needed to thicken it. Heat the soup until it is piping hot. Add the coconut milk and salt. Simmer gently over very low heat while you make the garnish.
In a fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the usli ghee. Add the remaining 1 cup onion, the garlic and garam masala. Sauté, stirring, until the onion is nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season with salt and pepper. Sauté, tossing the chicken, until lightly seared and well coated with spices, about 3 minutes.
To serve, place about 2 1/2 Tbs. rice in each warmed bowl and ladle in the piping hot soup. Place the chicken on top and sprinkle with the lemon juice and almonds. Serve immediately. Serves 8.