Mulligatawny Stew

By CHEF JOSH AUERHAMER, for the Flathead Beacon

I am always on the search for ideas and recipes to try out in the kitchen and making soups and stews is my favorite way to try out new flavor combinations before incorporating them into a specific dish or menu.

Recently while doing some research on starting dishes for an Indian menu, I stumbled across this amazing soup. Even though I had heard of Mulligatawny stew, I had never eaten it or made it and was pleasantly surprised that the somewhat odd combination of ingredients created such an incredibly delicious final product.

To get started you will need to gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 serrano chiles, sliced thin
  • 2 T madras curry powder
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled & diced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed & drained
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 lemon, zest & juice
  • Salt & pepper
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)


Mulligatawny Stew garnished with Cilantro. | Contributed photo

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or clarified butter in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.

Add the onion, garlic, ginger, chiles, season with the curry powder, salt & pepper and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes and the onion has just started to brown.

Add the carrots, celery, apple, potatoes, lentils and chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are just tender but not falling apart. Add the coconut milk, lemon juice and zest, season again with the salt and pepper and cook an additional 10-15 minutes.

Once the vegetables are tender and the lentils are cooked you can either blend the soup into a puree or serve as is.

I prefer mine left alone garnished with the fresh cilantro.


Joshua Auerhammer is the chef/owner of Culinary Design Studio in Bigfork.