Instant Pot mulligatawny soup step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Mulligatawny soup is a creamy and rich curried soup that originated from South Indian cuisine and has been adapted to suit western tastebuds. This warm and hearty soup has a thick consistency and is often served with naan or other bread. It is really simple to make in an Instant Pot and is a set-and-forget recipe.
The recipe I am sharing here is a vegan version and is made with red lentils, apples, vegetables, coconut milk, and spices. What started as a light, thin broth made with pepper, tamarind, and water has evolved into a thick, creamy, stew-like wholesome soup.
This delicious soup has a rather interesting history. Read on for its origin, ingredients, and step-by-step instructions to make this unique soup.
This hearty soup originated during British rule in India to satiate their desire for soups. As such, there is no soup course in traditional Indian cuisine and this soup was originally made as a variation of pepper rasam.
Rasam is a spicy-tangy South Indian dish that has a soup-like consistency and is made with lentils. This soup-like rasam is eaten with rice in a traditional South Indian meal. In Tamil (Indian language), 'Milagai' means pepper and 'tanni' means water. The British concept of soup course combined with Indian ingredients led to the modernization of "mulagai-tanni" to "mulligatawny" soup.
While this soup started off as a variation of the traditional rasam, the present version is nowhere close to the actual rasam made in India. This dish is very popular in restaurants outside of India and is rather less known within India. It started as a vegetarian soup and was later adapted to add chicken and meat.
Red lentils: Or masoor dal, this is the main ingredient of this soup.
Vegetables: Onion, celery, carrots, and tomatoes are used.
Apples: This adds a unique flavor and cannot be skipped.
Ginger, garlic, and green chili: Adjust the chili as per your preference. A good amount of ginger and garlic goes into making the soup.
Spices: I use garam masala, cumin powder, turmeric powder, chili powder, and dried thyme.
Stock: I use vegetable stock to make this soup.
Step by step instructions
1. Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and add oil. Add onion, celery, ginger, garlic, and green chili. Saute for 3 minutes.
2. Add red lentils, apple, carrots, tomatoes, garam masala, cumin powder, turmeric powder, chili powder, dried thyme, pepper powder, and salt
3. Add the vegetable stock. Mix well and deglaze the pot.
4. Secure the IP lid and set it to pressure cook mode for 6 minutes.
5. Do a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
6. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup for 30 seconds (blend for 1-2 minutes if you want a smooth soup).
7. Add coconut milk and coriander leaves. Mix well. Serve this soup hot or warm.
I like to leave the soup chunky and so don't blend it a lot. If you prefer a smooth consistency, blend the soup well before adding the coconut milk.
I use vegetable stock; however, chicken stock can also be used to make this soup.
Apples add a unique flavor and cannot be skipped. Use good quality apples that are not overripe. Granny Smith apples work best for this dish as they impart a nice tart flavor.
I am using coconut milk here. You can replace it with evaporated milk or use any dairy-free milk.
You can top the soup with some roasted cashew to add more texture and crunch to the soup.
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Any leftover soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This soup also freezes well and can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Reheat the soup in a saucepan over medium heat.
You can serve this soup with naan or any bread of your choice. It can also be served on a bed of steamed rice. This delicious soup also tastes great just on its own.
This soup is believed to have been invented during the British rule in India to satiate their desire for soups. Read more about its history in the origin section above.
In Tamil (Indian language), 'Milagai' means pepper and 'tanni' means water. The British concept of soup course combined with Indian ingredients lead to the modernization of "mulagai-tanni" to "mulligatawny" soup.
This Instant Pot mulligatawny soup is:
- healthy, delicious, and comforting
- vegan and gluten-free
- easy to make with unique taste and flavor
Instant Pot Mulligatawny Soup
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 stick celery finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger grated
- 4 cloves garlic grated
- 1-2 green chili finely chopped
- ¾ cup red lentils (masoor dal)
- 1 medium tomato chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 apples peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- ½ cup coconut milk
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves (cilantro)
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and add oil
- Add onion, celery, ginger, garlic, and green chili. Saute for 3 minutes
- Add red lentils, apple, carrots, tomatoes, garam masala, cumin powder, turmeric powder, chili powder, dried thyme, pepper powder, and salt
- Add the vegetable stock. Mix well and deglaze the pot
- Secure the IP lid and set it to pressure cook mode for 6 minutes
- Do a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes, then do a quick release
- Using an immersion blender, blend the soup for 30 seconds (blend for 1-2 minute if you want a smooth soup)
- Add coconut milk and coriander leaves. Mix well
- Serve hot with rice or bread of your choice