Mulligatawny Soup (Chicken Coconut Curry Soup)

My mom made this all the time when I was growing up, partly because it was a 1 pot meal, but also because it was one of the few soups I would eat. It's rich and creamy, seasoned with traditional Indian spices and has the added sweetness of apple.

Mulligatawny Soup (Chicken Coconut Curry Soup)

Print Grocery List Print Recipe
Total Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes


  • One 4-5 pound roasting chicken, cut into individual piece (thighs, legs, etc)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 ½ cups chopped, peeled and cored Green apple
  • 1 ½ tablespoons curry powder
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoon mace
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup raw, unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup apple juice (you can substitute apple cider)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups cooked white rice (my family prefers Japanese sticky rice, but long grain would work, too)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley



Divide the flour between two large gallon freezer bags and sprinkle a generous pinch of salt and pepper into each bag. Divide the chicken between the two bags, seal and shake to coat chicken with flour.


In a large Dutch oven, over medium heat, melt the butter. Brown the chicken in batches and then set all the browned chicken aside. Take your time with this step to make sure all the chicken is nicely browned on all sides.


Add the onion, carrot, celery and apple to the Dutch oven and sauté over medium heat. If the mixture seems dry, add another tablespoon of butter. Stir occasionally until mixture begins to soften and the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes.


Add curry powder, salt, mace, pepper, chili powder, coconut, chicken and 6 cups chicken stock; mix well. Bring ingredients to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Stir occasionally.


Remove from heat. Skim fat from the top and discard. Using a slotted spoon, remove all the chicken from the pot and place on a sheet pan. Wait for the chicken to cool, and using a couple of forks (or your hands, which is messy, but I think is easier and faster), remove the skin and then remove the chicken from the bone. Shred or cut up the chicken into large pieces.


Return the shredded chicken to the pot, add the apple juice and cream. Reheat, stirring often.


You can make this ahead of time and reheat it before serving. Add a large scoop of rice in each bowl; ladle the soup over the rice and sprinkle with the fresh parsley.


DO AHEAD TIP #1: Measure out the curry powder, salt, mace, pepper, chili powder and coconut into a large measuring cup, to make it fast and easy to add to the soup.
DO AHEAD TIP #2: The soup can be made a day ahead, store in the refrigerator, then reheat before serving.
DO AHEAD TIP #2: You can use a rotisserie chicken in place of the uncooked chicken. Make the base of the soup, shred the rotisserie chicken, then add to the soup.

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