Feb 25th, 2010

Slow Cooker Chicken Mulligatawny

A spicy chicken soup to warm you up while the snow falls outside. This hearty soup is full of bright flavour from the ginger and lemon, while the cumin and coriander spice it up. Make a batch in your slow cooker and enjoy the leftovers for lunch.

Recently a co-worker of mine brought in a chicken soup for lunch that was unlike any chicken soup I had seen before. Of course I asked him what it was and he replied with, “Chicken Mulligatawny”. I said “Chicken Mulliga-what?”. I had never heard of it, have you?

So of course I googled it. I learned that “Mulligatawny” means “pepper water” in Tamil (even though pepper is not a significant ingredient). There are many variations of Mulligatawny, it can be prepared with different meats including lamb or chicken and it’s consistency can vary from thick and creamy to a more “watery” soup. Often it contains rice or noodles too. What’s your favourite type of Mulligatawny?

Before making my own soup, I studied some recipes available online including a slow cooker one by Nancy Guppy. The creation I made was of the more “soupy” variety and the recipe is below. My Mulligatawny tasted clean and bright with the perfect amount of heat. Not tear-inducing, but lively!

Try it out and let me know how you liked it :)

Slow Cooker Chicken Mulligatawny

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 8 hours (low) or 4 hours (high)
Yield: 8 servings (prepared in a 6.5 quart slow cooker)

  • 3 tsp freshly ground cumin
  •  12 tsp salt
  •  12 tsp ground red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp freshly ground coriander
  •  12 tsp pepper
  • 2 pods freshly ground cardamom
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 -471ml (16oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 12 lbs bite-sized chicken pieces (I cut up 2 breasts)
  • 2 cups diced apple
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 12 cups diced celery
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 6 tbsp toasted almonds
  • 12 cups diced carrot
  • 4 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro
  • bay leaf
  • 12 cups diced leek
  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pod freshly ground clove
  • 2 tbsp curry powder (medium)

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and place in the slow cooker insert.

Grind the cumin, coriander, clove, and cardamom pods, red pepper flakes together using a mortar and pestle. Add the curry, salt and pepper.

In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook until softened.

Add the carrots and leeks and cook for a couple more minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and spices (curry, cumin, coriander, cloves, cardamom, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper) until they become fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the celery and apples. Stir to combine.

Place in the slow cooker on top of the chicken and add the chicken broth.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Change to the high setting and stir in the coconut milk and lemon juice.

Heat for 30-45 minutes, while you cook the rice separately.

Stir the cooked rice into the Mulligatawny and scoop into bowls.

Garnish with toasted almonds and freshly chopped cilantro.