GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) - Indian spices such as brown mustard seed, cardamon and curry kick this vegetable soup up a few notches, without much extra effort. "Mulligatawny" simply means "pepper water'" in Tamil. Our "pepper water" is plant-based, although traditionally it's far from it. We load it with aromatic spices, vegetables, grains or legumes. It's never the same twice, depending on what we have on hand. Some days it's more of a stew and others it's definitely a soup.
Our original recipe was gifted to me years ago by one of my favorite chefs, Frank Gort. He married into an Indian family and lucky us, while he lived in West Michigan, we were fortunate recipients of his new found Indian inspired culinary creations. Perpetually optimistic and upbeat, Frank always exceeded our wildest foodie expectations. As a result we coined a phrase for him synonymous with always staving for excellence, "Frank it up!". Feel free to say this when someone has gone "above and beyond" the call of duty. And, make sure to include the raise-the-roof hand gestures that should accompany the saying, if you are to deliver this upmost compliment appropriately. You might even want to throw a slight bob into the mix too.
So with your next pot of Mulligatawny, go for it and "Frank it up!".
Makes 5 Quarts
2 T EVOO
1 T Brown mustard seed
1 White onion, chopped
4 Garlic cloves, chopped
2 T Ginger, fresh and grated
1 T Cardamom seeds (not pods)
1 t Curry powder
1 t Coriander, ground
1 t Cumin, ground
1 t Turmeric, ground
1 t Fennel seed
1 t Peppercorns
1 C Each of diced: Tomatoes, carrots, celery and potatoes
64 oz Vegetable broth
3 Cinnamon sticks
2 C Lentils, dry
2 C Coconut milk, fresh or 1 14 oz can of coconut milk
2 T Lime juice
Sea Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 C Cilantro
*All of the above ingredients are available at D&W Fresh Market
Heat the EVOO in a sauté pan over a medium flame.
When the oil is warm add the brown mustard seeds, being careful as the mustard seeds will pop and splatter when done.
Add the chopped onion and garlic, then sauté until transparent.
Add the ginger and sauté for 2 more minutes.
Add cardamom seeds, curry powder, coriander, cumin, turmeric, fennel seeds and peppercorns, then sauté for 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes, carrots, celery and potatoes, then sauté until just soft.
Pour one cup of the vegetable broth into the sauté pan to deglaze the pan.
Transfer the contents of the sauté pan to a large stock pot over medium heat.
Add the rest of the vegetable broth, cinnamon sticks and lentils, then bring to a boil.
Cover, lower heat and simmer for one hour.
Make fresh coconut milk by scraping the meat out of the inside of a young thai coconut and blending it with the coconut water in a blender until creamy.
When soup is done and lentils are soft add coconut milk, lime juice and adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
Pour into individual soup bowls and garnish with cilantro and a lime wedge.
We'd love to know how you "Franked it up" your way by leaving a comment below!
Copyright Margaux Drake
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