In India, most soups are thought of as the preface to a meal, but this one is so rich that we usually make a meal of it. East Indian Mulligatawny - literally “pepper water” - the peppery nature of mulligatawny depends entirely on the cook: it can be hot or mild.
1 chicken, about 3 lbs., cut into serving pieces
6 cups chicken stock
1 onion, stuck with 4 cloves
2 small ribs celery with leaves
1 carrot, scraped and quartered
2 sprigs fresh parsley
1/2 small coconut
1 cup canned chick peas, drained
1/4 cup butter or margarine
5 T. all-purpose flour
3 T. powdered turmeric
1/2 t. powdered ginger
1 t. ground coriander
1 clove garlic, minced
Cayenne pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream
Pepper to taste
Step 1. Place the chicken in a saucepan and add the chicken stock. Add the onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf, parsley, salt to taste and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes, or until chicken is tender. Remove the chicken pieces and keep them warm. Strain the broth.
Step 2. Remove the meat from the coconut shell. Pare away the dark coating and cut the coconut meat into small cubes. Put the cubes into a blender or food processor and add 2 cups of the broth. Blend on high speed. Line a sieve with cheesecloth and strain the coconut mixture. Press to extract as much of the moisture as possible. Discard the residue.
Step 3. Rinse out the blender. Return the coconut milk to the blender and add the chick peas. Blend until the peas are thoroughly pureed. Add enough of the reserved chicken broth to make four cups.
Step 4. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour, turmeric, ginger, coriander, garlic and cayenne pepper. Stir to blend and remove from heat.
Step 5. Gradually add the coconut milk mixture to the butter-flour mixture, stirring rapidly with a whisk. Add the cream and chicken parts, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with lemon slices and serve piping hot, with hot rice as an accompaniment.