Mulligatawny Manoeuvres


I see it's only been six months since I last made mulligatawny. The first time was back in May 2011 when I followed Roopa Gulati's recipe in The Soup Book; last September I used The Essential Asian Cookbook. Today I used Rick Stein's India, a Christmas present from the spouse. It's one of those luxurious recipe books with thick paper and beautiful, vibrantly colourful photos.

We had all been impressed by Roopa's recipe, less so by the second book, so how would we fare today? Well, those two recipes both involved apple. Rick's did not, so I felt that this must be a more authentic recipe. If Anglo-Indian cooking has any authenticity these days. Still, Rick states that his recipe is on the menu at the Madras Club in Chennai. It involves making a spice paste first and then the soup.

Ingredients: The paste called for coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, curry powder, turmeric, garlic, ginger, and fresh coriander, curry and mint leaves. The soup required bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon stick, onion, tomatoes, carrots, celery, leeks, one chicken thigh, turmeric, stock and coconut milk.

I started off by pounding the seeds and peppercorns in our industrial mortar, which I haven't used before. The resulting gritty mixture was brushed into a small processor with the other paste ingredients for a good old whizz.

Then it was time to make the soup. This involved frying the other spices, then adding the vegetables. While I was trying to get a head start on my blog, the soup mixture cooked rather too much. Oops! Still, it smelled good.

The spouse and younger offspring got home from buying rugby boots just in time. Rick's serving suggestion is to pour the soup over cooked basmati rice, squeeze some lime juice in and have some mango chutney on the side. That's what I did. We've had a jar of mango chutney sitting uselessly in the fridge for some time now. It has now earned its keep. It was a soothing complement to the bitter spices of the paste.

The spouse and I both like the soup and the younger offspring seemed very impressed, despite not using the mango chutney. Would I make it again? I'm not sure.

Bee Listening

Listening to the radio this morning, I heard a trailer for a play, Wee Black Bees by Little John Nee to be broadcast this very evening.  A related radio programme is Richard Collins and Philip McCabe's Honey Bee Apocalypse. I dutifully listened to both.

Just out of curiosity and because of my interest in India, I thought I'd search for information about bees in that country. Here's the link.

That's all for now.



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