The Complete Asian Cookbook
Alan Benson

This curry-flavoured soup derives its name from the Indian ‘mulegoothani’ or pepper water. Mulligatawny as we know it is the Anglo-Indian version, made with beef, chicken or fish stock. This recipe includes coconut milk, which gives it a wonderful richness and delicious flavour.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg beef shin
1kg soup bones
6 cardamom pods
1 tablespoon curry leaves
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 garlic clove
12 whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
or 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 onion
3 whole cloves
1 tablespoon ghee
2 onions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
8 curry leaves
750ml coconut milk
salt, to taste


  1. To make the stock, put the beef and bones in a stockpot or large saucepan with enough water to cover. Add the cardamom pods, curry leaves, coriander and cumin seeds, garlic, peppercorns, salt, tamarind pulp and whole onion studded with the cloves. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1½–2 hours, or until the beef is tender and the stock is reduced by half. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Remove the beef and bones, discarding the bones. Strain the stock — you should have about 1.5 litres of stock. Cut the beef into small cubes and reserve.
  3. Heat the ghee in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until dark brown. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and stir for 1–2 minutes, then add the warm stock - it will hiss and spit, so be careful. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the coconut milk, stir to combine and remove from the heat. Season with salt, to taste. Add the lemon juice now if you are not using the tamarind pulp. Return the diced beef to the soup, stir to combine, and serve hot.
The Complete Asian Cookbook
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