Become a Better Cook in 4 Days!

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup is a delicious chicken, apple, vegetable, and rice soup in a creamy, curry-flavored broth.

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

I had my first bowl of Chicken Mulligatawny soup years ago, in the cafeteria of an office where I worked. It was offered as the daily soup special at lunch, and I was in the mood to try something new.

After my first taste, I was in love – and years later, I still love it!


Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

What is mulligatawny?

Mulligatawny (pronounced mulli-ga-taw-ny) is a soup that originates from South Indian cuisine. It translates to “pepper water” (or broth) in the Tamil language.

Chicken Mulligatawny soup is believed to have been first prepared for British colonists by their Indian cooks. There are many versions of this soup recipe – some with chicken, apples and rice, like our recipe today. Others include lamb, lentils or coconut milk – but the common ingredients in this very flavorful soup are curry, apples and rice.


Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup is most often made with chicken thighs – because the dark meat is super flavorful and stays moist after cooking.

We used a mix of a mild curry powder, garam masala, ground cumin, and thyme to smooth out the curry flavor a bit, and this spice blend gives this soup an interesting depth of flavor. The spices with the sweet apples and tender vegetables, chicken and rice is a truly delicious bite.

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

You may enjoy these other soup recipes:

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Category: soup
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: South Indiana


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 ½ pounds chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into bit sized pieces

7 tablespoons butter

1 cup onion, diced

2 cups celery, diced

3 cups carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon mild curry powder

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon dry thyme

½ teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt (adjust amount depending on how salty your chicken stock is)

2 quarts chicken stock, homemade if possible

1 cup dry basmati or white rice

Two large Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

1 cup heavy cream


In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat and once hot, add half of the chicken and brown, 4-5 minutes. Remove to a bowl. Repeat with rest of oil and chicken then remove to the same bowl.

Add the butter and once melted, add the onion, celery and carrots. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the brown bits on the pan bottom.

Cook for four minutes then add garlic and cook for one more minute.

Lower heat to medium and add the flour, curry, garam masala, cumin, thyme, pepper and salt if using and stir and cook for three minutes.

Add half the stock and stir to thicken. Add remaining stock and the rice. Stir to combine.

Bring to a boil, lower heat to low, cover and cook 15 minutes.

Remove cover, bring heat to medium and add apples and cooked chicken and cook 5-10 minutes until apples are tender.

Stir in cream and remove from heat and serve.

Keywords: Chicken Mulligatawny Soup


Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup


  • Share
  • Pin
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Meet The Author: Martha

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe rating

    What type of comment do you have?

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Sherri Pittman wrote:

    This recipe sounds wonderful but for me, I can’t do this carb count. I am battling insulin resistance and need to cut carbs. Is there any recipe you can give to help people like me?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Sherri – You could probably swap out the rice and add riced cauliflower instead. Otherwise, we do have lower carb recipes here that you might like to browse through: – hope that helps!

  • Susan J LeClerc wrote:

    I made a different mulligatawny soup recipe yesterday and was very disappointed. I too first had this soup in the cafeteria at work! I’ll definitely try your version to see if it’s what I remember.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you enjoy the soup Susan!

  • Janet L Schmidt wrote:

    just wondering if you have made and frozen? I divided into thirds…froze…and when I thawed it it was so thick and did not look anything like your pictures. I did not put half and half in it when frozen I added that after it had thawed. It seemed like in order to look like your picture I’d have to add a lot more chicken stock. mine was nothing like yours. thoughts?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Janet – We haven’t tried freezing this, but I suspect the rice in the soup absorbed the liquid.

  • Mary Z. wrote:

    This was a very good recipe! I was a little shy of the amount of cream but made up the difference with cream cheese. I topped with toasted coconut, as they do at our favorite restaurant when Mulligatawny is on their menu. Yum!

    • Martha wrote:

      Great idea Mary! Thanks for the suggestions!

  • Kathleen wrote:

    I loved this. I used chicken breats that i roasted and i added extra cumin. Everyone loved it. Thanks

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Kathleen!

  • Kathleen wrote:

    I loved it. I seasoned and roast 2 bone-in skin on breasts and shredded them. I used thai curry paste. Really good and filling. I almost forgot the apples. I will make it again. Thanks. 😁

    • Martha wrote:

      Great idea Kathleen! Glad you liked the soups!

  • Carrie in Oregon wrote:

    I can not rate this recipe as I have not made it yet. I do, however, have a question: I am gluten free for Celiac Disease and so using white flour is not an option for me. Is the flour in the recipe mainly for thickening? And if yes, do you think it would alter the final product much if I used corn starch instead? If no, do you gave any other suggestions?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Carrie – Yes, the flour thickens the broth a bit. You should have no issues swapping in corn starch instead.

  • Linda wrote:

    Could you make this in the crock pot?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Linda – I suppose you could, although the cook time as written is only 45 minutes, so it would take longer in a slow cooker. (Plus additional prep time to chop all of the ingredients). Also, you wouldn’t want to put all of the ingredients in the slow cooker at once – the apples and rice would get mushy if you do that.

      We personally think that the slow cooker is best for recipes that require a long cooking time and this soup really doesn’t need that. But if you try it, please let us know how it works out for you!

  • Marcella Erthein wrote:

    I Don’t believe it!!!!! My grandmother- an Illinois farmers wife, ( I’m 83 so you can see how old this recipe is) made this wonderful soup when we would visit her down at the family farm( from the 1830 land grant and still in the family and our English name!). Remembering the happy name as a young child, she told of getting the recipe from her mother in law- It came west with our pioneer ancestors 😱Thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re welcome Marcella – I hope our version is as good as your grandmother’s soup!

  • A Family Feast ® is a registered trademark of A Family Feast, Inc. All content, including recipes, text, visual elements, and photographs are copyright © A Family Feast, Inc. 2012-2020, unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.