Mulligatawny in Tamil means Pepper Water (Milagu + Thanni). When the British came to rule India, they enjoyed the local rasam very much and decided to tweak it a bit to make it suit their palettes, as well as trying to make it an appetizer or entree on its own. The version you see on restaurant menus these days is an anglicized version of rasam or pepper water.
We enjoy it on cool nights when you need just a bowl of hot soup and some bread. Be warned that this is a heavy soup and a bowl can be had as a complete meal.
1 tsp Peppercorn
1 Onion, sliced
250 g Moong Dal (split yellow lentils)
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 Bay Leaves
2-3 Curry Leaves
1 Apple, skinned and chopped
1/4 cup shredded Coconut
1 Carrot, chopped
1 clove Garlic
small pinch Garam Masala
Salt, to taste (about 1 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp Oil
In a heavy saucepan, cook the lentils with 2-3 cups of water.
In a skillet, saute the onions, carrots, bay leaf, peppercorn, apple, curry leaves and coconut together. Once the carrots are cooked through, add the sauteed ingredients to the cooking lentils. Add the garam masala, turmeric and salt and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes or until lentils are completely cooked.
Remove from heat. Hunt for and fish out the bay leaf and curry leaves (you don't want those blended in - they make the soup bitter). Put the soup in the blender for a few minutes and strain.
Garnish with lemon juice, chopped fresh cilantro and/or cooked rice.
This is for Lisa at Lisa's Kitchen for October's No Croutons Required featuring Vegetarian Soups.