A word of advice: you’ll want to use the big shopping cart when you pick up your ingredients for this flavor-packed recipe!
Healthy and comforting mulligatawny stew is an aromatic curry-style dish with a colorful, dynamic mix of chicken, fruits, veggies, and spices.
Translated from the Tamil language as “pepper-water” or “chili-water,” it is an English recipe with South Indian origins.
The stew tastes even better the next day, after the flavors have had time to mingle a little more in the fridge. And it freezes well in airtight containers, so you can enjoy a bowlful any time you like.
Make the recipe now, and you’ll feel happy and satisfied with a big bowlful sitting right in front of you!Print
Healthy and comforting mulligatawny stew is an aromatic recipe with a dynamic mix of chicken, fresh fruits and veggies, and spices.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped in bite-sized cubes
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 medium Granny Smith apple, chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup brown rice
- 1/4 cup red lentils
- 1/4 cup split peas
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 15-ounce can coconut milk
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
- Carrot leaves or cilantro, for garnish
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot on medium-high heat. Add the chicken. Cook and flip until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.
- Add the celery, carrots, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes until browned, stirring frequently.
- Add all of the spices. Stir to combine, and saute for another 2 minutes.
- Stir in the apples, tomatoes, rice, lentils, and split peas.
- Pour the chicken stock into the pot. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the coconut milk. Cover and continue simmering another 15 minutes, or until the stew has thickened significantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Ladle into bowls, garnish with a dollop of yogurt and carrot leaves or cilantro, and serve.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: English/Indian
Keywords: English cuisine, Indian cuisine, stew, soup, mulligatawny, chicken, curry, comfort food
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
Slice the boneless, skinless chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces.
Measure the olive oil, lentils, peas, rice, chicken stock, and yogurt.
Set out the salt and pepper. Get out your pepper mill for the best fresh-cracked flavor!
If using whole carrots with the leaves still attached, reserve some of the leaves to use as a final garnish. No leaves? Substitute fresh cilantro instead for the garnish.
Step 2 – Brown the Chicken
Heat the oil in a large soup pot on medium-high heat. Add the chicken, cooking until browned on the outside, flipping the pieces occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Egad! You dropped the chicken!!! Don’t fret, learn what to do in this slippery situation.
You’ll need a large soup pot – make sure it is large enough before you start. You don’t want overflow if you can avoid it (been there, done that).
Step 3 – Brown the Veggies
Add the celery, carrots, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes until browned, stirring frequently.
Step 4 – Add the Spices and Remaining Dry Ingredients
Add all of the spices and saute for another two minutes, stirring frequently.
Mix in the apples, tomatoes, lentils, split peas, and rice.
Step 5 – Add Stock and Simmer
Pour the chicken stock into the pan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Ever thought of making your own stock from scratch? It’s easy, and we can help you with our homemade stock recipes.
Step 6 – Add Coconut Milk and Simmer
Stir in the coconut milk. Cover and continue simmering another 15 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened significantly.
Step 7 – Garnish and Serve
Once the stew is thick and ready to serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with a small dollop of yogurt, and some carrot leaves or cilantro. Serve while warm.
Carrot leaves are edible! And pretty! They provide a fresh, lightly bitter garnish to this hearty dish.
Don’t Let the Ingredient List Scare You
While the looooong list of ingredients may seem a bit overwhelming at first, this recipe is actually really easy to make!
Once the initial prep of chopping the fruits, veggies, and chicken is done, you only need a large pot to do all the cooking.
Have any of you made this comforting English dish before? What ingredients and spices do you like to use? Comment below! As always, I’d love to hear from you.
If you want a change of pace with your soups and stews, then explore some of our other recipes:
- Creamy Chickpea Saffron
- Irish Coddle
- Chicken Split Pea
- Argentine Lentil
- Slow Cooker Oktoberfest
- Barbecue Chicken
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on June 1, 2015. Last updated: December 30, 2021 at 17:29 pm. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Lorna Kring
Recently retired as a costume specialist in the TV and film industry, Lorna now enjoys blogging on contemporary lifestyle themes. A bit daft about the garden, she’s particularly obsessed with organic tomatoes and herbs, and delights in breaking bread with family and friends.