Chicken Mulligatawny Soup – A restaurant favorite, South Indian soup cooked with coconut milk and spices that leaves the taste buds longing for more.
What is Mulligatawny?
The name Mulligatawny originates from the Tamil words “milagay” or “milagu” meaning pepper and “tanni” meaning water, which literally translate to “pepper-water”. The soup is similar to “Rasam” which is a versatile spicy soup that is popular in southern India. Mulligatawny soup became very popular with the British when England occupied India and eventually made its way to many Indian restaurants in the UK as well as the US.
It wasn’t until I moved to the US that I was introduced to it because most Indian restaurants have this soup on their menu. Since then I have enjoyed it many times. I have also devoured the original south Indian version of this “pepper-water” soup at my friend’s home.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Karen Lee an accomplished holistic practitioner, and a former doctor of chiropractic medicine. Dr. Lee started cooking Paleo-friendly foods for her family years ago to help with food allergies, and they began their Ketogenic (Keto) journey to further control inflammation and weight gain. With the Instant Pot, she was able to turn family favorites that used to take hours into fast, stress-free meals. She has since published to two cookbooks – Paleo Cooking with Your Air Fryer and Keto Cooking with Your Instant Pot.
I love that both these books have so many well tested recipes that are healthy and delicious at the same time. When I saw the recipe for Chicken Mulligatawny Soup in her Instant Pot book, I couldn’t resist trying it out immediately as not only did it look tasty, but I also had most of the ingredients in my pantry, except curry powder which I substituted with garam masala, cumin powder and turmeric.
Traditional Chicken Mulligatawny Soup uses ingredients like lentils, potatoes, flour, rice, heavy cream, etc… to add creaminess to the soup. I love that this low carb version uses cauliflower rice and coconut milk to add the same silky creamy texture. Spices such as black pepper, curry powder, nutmeg and thyme that Dr. Lee uses definitely leaves our taste buds longing for more.
My variations to the Chicken Mulligatawny Soup:
- Made the recipe for 6 servings
- Added 3 tablespoons ghee instead of butter
- Used boneless, skinless thighs instead of bone-in thighs
- Reduced the cook time to 10 minutes instead of 15 minutes since I used bone-less thighs
- Substituted Curry powder with – 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- Added 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper instead of 1/2 teaspoon as we love our soup a bit spicy
- Used 2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
- Used 1 cup coconut milk
Instant Pot Chicken Mulligatawny Soup step by step recipe:
- Turn the Instant Pot to Saute mode and melt ghee. Add onions and ginger and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in celery and carrots and cook for another 1 minute.
- Add remaining ingredients except for coconut milk and cilantro. Hit “Cancel”. Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the pressure valve to sealing. Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook/Manual(Hi) for 10 minutes followed by 10 minute natural pressure release.
- Release the remaining pressure by turning the pressure valve to venting. After the float valve drops down open the Instant Pot. Stir in coconut milk and cilantro.
- Laddle the soup into bowls and garnish with more cilantro and black pepper. Optional step – You can also shred the chicken using forks and add back into the soup.
Did you enjoy this low carb soup? Here is another recipe you may want to try next:
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- 3 tablespoons ghee
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 tablespoon ginger grated
- 1 celery stalk chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 teaspoon curry powder or 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, you can also use bone-in chicken thighs
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups cauliflower rice or finely minced cauliflower florets
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish
Turn the Instant Pot to Saute mode and melt ghee. Add onions and ginger and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in celery and carrots and cook for another 1 minute.
Add remaining ingredients except for coconut milk and cilantro. Hit "Cancel". Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the pressure valve to sealing. Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook/Manual(Hi) for 10 minutes followed by 10 minute natural pressure release. Release the remaining pressure by turning the pressure valve to venting.
After the float valve drops down, open the Instant Pot. Stir in coconut milk and cilantro. Laddle the soup into bowls and garnish with more cilantro and black pepper.
- You can also shred the chicken using forks and add back into the soup
- For Bone-in chicken thighs, increase the pressure cook time to 15 minutes
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Hey there! I am a techie turned recipe developer, cooking instructor, and food blogger. I love food and enjoy developing easy and healthy recipes for busy lifestyles. I live New Jersey with my husband and two sons.