Sweet Spiced Chicken Mulligatawny Soup Recipe

Combining both sweet and spiced flavors, there really is no dish more warming or comforting than mulligatawny soup. The classic Indian fare features an assortment of vegetables, rice, chicken, coconut milk, and even some sliced apples, giving it a distinct flavor profile unlike any other soup, curry, or stew out there. As recipe developer Catherine Brookes describes, "Mulligatawny soup has such a distinct sweet and spicy curry flavor and this recipe is a classic take on that!"

If you're a fan of curry, then there's no doubt that you'll enjoy this soup, especially since it showcases the warming, earthy flavors of curry powder. Combined with the vegetables, apples, and coconut milk, this soup really does strike a perfect balance between sweet and spicy. "The flavor is savory, with a spicy, sweet, and smoky curry taste and plenty of garlic and ginger too," Brookes describes. Because there is such complex flavor development within this dish, you may be surprised to learn that it comes together in less than an hour, and within a single pot. If you've wanted to enjoy Indian cuisine without ordering takeout, then this easy-to-make mulligatawny soup recipe is the ideal place to start. 

Gather the ingredients for sweet spiced chicken mulligatawny soup recipe

The ingredients list is a bit of a hefty one, but the resulting soup will be well worth it. For starters, you'll need olive oil, a diced onion, diced carrots, diced celery, crushed garlic, grated ginger, and a finely chopped green apple. "Adding apple to the soup gives it that slight sweetness that balances all of the savory ingredients really well," says Brookes.

To add some heartiness to the dish, you'll need some chicken thighs and basmati rice, as well as chicken broth and coconut milk to make it into an actual soup. To enhance the flavors, you'll need a couple of bay leaves, tomato paste, curry powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and a fresh squeeze of lime juice to top it all off. 

Sauté the vegetables

To kick off the recipe, start by placing a large soup pot on the stovetop over medium heat. Add in the olive oil, followed by the diced onion, carrot, and celery. Sauté the vegetables for about 10 minutes, giving them adequate time to soften up. Then, add in the garlic and ginger, cooking for another 2 minutes while stirring constantly. 

Build the soup

With the vegetables nice and softened, you can add the chopped apple, bay leaves, curry powder, smoked paprika, and tomato paste to the pot. Stir it all up and cook for 2 minutes. Then, add in the chicken thighs, basmati rice, and broth. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce it to a simmer, allowing it to cook for 20 minutes. During this time, the chicken will cook through and the rice will become nice and tender — plus, all of those flavors will have a chance to infuse and meld. 

Shred the chicken

After 20 minutes of simmering, the chicken should be cooked through, but you don't want to leave whole chicken thighs in there. Keeping the soup at a simmer, remove the thighs from the pot and place them on a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the chicken, then return the shredded chicken to the soup pot.

Add the finishing touches and serve

To finish off the soup, stir in the coconut milk, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pot from the heat, and voila — you're ready to enjoy this chicken mulligatawny soup. "This would be great served with some crusty bread, naan bread, or pita," Brookes suggests. 

As with any batch of soup, leftovers can definitely be expected. "It's a great one to make in a big batch and eat throughout the week or even freeze for later," Brookes says, and in case you don't go the freezer route, "Leftovers can be stored in the fridge up to 4 days."

Sweet Spiced Chicken Mulligatawny Soup Recipe
4.9 from 23 ratings
Skip your usual Indian takeout joint and make this sweet spiced chicken mulligatawny soup in your home kitchen in under an hour with just one pot.
Prep Time
Cook Time
mulligatawny soup in bowl
Total time: 50 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 sticks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1-inch chunk ginger, grated
  • 1 large green apple, finely chopped into 5-millimeter pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • ⅓ cup basmati rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • juice of ½ lime
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and fry until softened, about 10 minutes. Then add the garlic and ginger and fry for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the apple, bay leaves, curry powder, smoked paprika, and tomato paste. Stir well and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken thighs, rice, and broth. Stir well, bring to a boil, then cover and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Leaving the soup at a simmer, remove the chicken thighs and place them on a chopping board. Use 2 forks to shred the chicken, then return it back to the pot.
  5. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, and some salt and pepper to taste. Stir well then remove from the heat.
  6. Serve right away.
Calories per Serving 980
Total Fat 64.5 g
Saturated Fat 20.3 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 290.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 41.5 g
Dietary Fiber 5.4 g
Total Sugars 12.6 g
Sodium 1,711.3 mg
Protein 57.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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