Citizens, there are very few ‘fusion’ recipes here on TFD Nation, as I prefer to share recipes that have a pure, unadulterated history and continuity within their land of origin. That said, mulligatawny has become a standard in both the UK and even in India, despite being a corrupted recipe from its origins – and since it is totally delicious, I shall indeed share it with you!
Mulligatawny is an English soup with origins in Indian cuisine. The name originates from the Tamil words miḷagāy (Tamil: மிளகாய் ‘chili’) or miḷagu (மிளகு ‘pepper’), and taṇṇi (தண்ணி, ‘water’). It is related to the classic Indian soup known as rasam.
Due to its popularity in England during the British Raj, it was one of the few items of Indian cuisine that found common mention in the literature of the period.
However over the course of time, a lot of other ingredients such coconut, meat and other spices were added to give it a completely different flavor. The dish quickly became popular throughout the colonies of the Commonwealth. The Mulligatawny Soup of today bears little resemblance to the original ‘MELLIGU –THANI’.
Recipes for mulligatawny varied greatly over the years, and there is no single original version. Later versions included British modifications that included meat, though the local Madras recipe on which it was based did not. Early references to it in English go back to 1784.
In 1827, William Kitchiner wrote that it had become fashionable in Britain:
Mullaga-Tawny signifies pepper water. The progress of inexperienced peripatetic Palaticians has lately been arrested by this outlandish word being pasted on the windows of our Coffee-Houses; it has, we believe, answered the “Restaurateurs’ ” purpose, and often excited John Bull, to walk in and taste—the more familiar name of Curry Soup—would, perhaps, not have had sufficient of the charms of novelty to seduce him from his much-loved Mock-Turtle.
It is a fashionable Soup and a great favourite with our East Indian friends, and we give the best receipt we could procure for it.
— The Cook’s Oracle; Containing Recipes for Plain Cookery on the Most Economical Plan for Private Families
My Citizens, my version is anything but pedestrian – it calls not for a tired old curry powder from a jar, but an actual fresh curry paste. I have every confidence you will find this fusion worthy of its classic status! 🙂
Battle on – The Generalissimo