Mulligatawny Soup Recipe

We tend to think of “fusion” foods as a new idea: Asian/Cuban, Mexican/Jewish and so on and so on.  The truth is people have been mixing and matching cuisines ever since we started exploring (or on a less positive note, colonizing).  The bright side is that exposure to new spices, flavorings, and cooking techniques can be a springboard for creative new dishes.  Mulligatawny soup (which means pepper-water) is one such “fusion” food.  It’s a mixture of Indian Tamil and British cooking. The Tamil cuisine brings the spiciness and the British added the meat.

This particular version of the recipe is adapted from Foodaholic.  Her recipe uses red lentils (which I didn’t have). However I asked her and she said lots of recipes use rice instead. I had that, so rice it is!

I don’t have garlic paste, so I took a garlic clove and smashed it to smithereens. Just chop it up finely and then swipe the flat of a wide knife over it.  Or, if you don’t mind a bit of extra cleanup, put it in a mini-chopper or a garlic press.

Finally, I used a chicken thigh, rather than chicken breast (which she uses because of picky kids). I think the chicken thigh has a better, richer flavor and I don’t have to worry about pleasing fussy eaters.

I did follow her lead in only using one pot. I can’t stand extra cleanup!

If you want the soup creamier and more elegant, remove part of it from the pan and puree the rest with a stick blender. If not, just cook it another 10 minutes for a more rustic texture.

This will make about three servings of soup. Eat one right away and save the rest in separate containers for another day.

Indian Mulligatawny Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

three servings

Indian Mulligatawny Soup

A combination of British and Indian cuisine that's became a staple. It's got Indian spiciness with British meat and potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 chicken thigh
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed into a paste
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 4-5 red chopped tomatoes (about 1/4 of a 28 oz can)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • generous grinding of black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Garnish
  • 1 heaping T Greek yogurt or coconut milk
  • Optional
  • Fresh chilis or coriander leaves

Instructions

  1. Add the oil to a Dutch oven and heat on medium high
  2. Brown the chicken thigh in the oil. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for a short time (about a minute).
  3. Add everything else except the lemon juice to the pot (potatoes, carrots, bay leaf, tomatoes, and spices go in all together). Add water to cover, about 2 cups.
  4. Turn the flame down to medium low and cover the pot. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables get soft.
  5. Take the pot off the stove and turn off the burner.
  6. When the soup has cooled, remove the chicken thigh and the bay leaf.
  7. Cut the chicken up into pieces and throw away the bay leaf.
  8. For a smoother soup
  9. Pour out half the soup into a large bowl. Puree the rest in the pot with a stick blender. If you chose the smoother soup, put it all back in the pot and reheat it if necessary.
  10. For a chunkier soup
  11. Skip the puree, and put the soup back on the burner to cook for another 10 minutes.
  12. Ladle the soup into a bowl and add the reserved chicken and the lemon juice. Garnish with yogurt (and/or chilis or fresh coriander leaves).

Mulligatawny Soup Substitutions and Variations

  • If you like spicier food, add some chopped fresh green chilis
  • Top the soup with yogurt or try some coconut milk to counter the heat
  • Add some curry powder
  • Put in some chopped apple for sweetness

More Indian Chicken Recipes

Indian Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

Jewish Chicken Curry Chitarnee

Curried Chicken Soup

Easy Chicken Curry Recipe

Rustic Pear Tart

Let’s face it, most pear tart recipes are complicated.  You have to make the dough, then let it rest.  Next you have to pre-bake the crust, or maybe go out and get some frozen puff pastry. I’ve even seen recipes calling for making the puff pastry at home (not happening).   Or, there are recipes requiring a traditional full-blown pie crust.  I have a lovely apple pie recipe I hardly ever make because it’s just too much fussing.  This rustic pear tart, on the other hand, is fairly easy and straightforward.

You don’t have to crimp the edges, or pre-bake the crust. You don’t even have to cook the pears in advance. I saw one recipe that had 22 steps! Nope. Nope. Nope. This recipe is much easier than that! There are only six steps.  Much better! The active time is about 15 minutes of work, and the whole thing is done in about an hour and a half (including resting in the fridge and baking).

First you make the dough. That’s only six basic ingredients you likely already have at home.  Then, you let it cool in the refrigerator for an hour, and press out the dough into a roughly circular shape. Next, add the fruit, sprinkle the spices on top, and bake.

I’ve made this tart with pears, because I had some extremely ripe pears I wanted to use up. If you don’t have pears, or would rather use something else, apples will work beautifully too. And, both are in season now.  Once summer comes back around, you might try it with peaches or maybe plums too.

The original recipe (which I cut in half) required a food processor. If you don’t have one, you can use a pastry cutter or two sharp knives instead. I have included instructions for both.




Rustic Pear Tart

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Category: dessert

Cuisine: American

4

Rustic Pear Tart

Ingredients

  • 2/3 C flour
  • small pinch salt
  • 4 1/2 tsp sugar (or 1 T plus 1 1/2 t)
  • 4 T plus 1 1/2 tsp cold butter
  • 1 small egg yolk (if you have only large eggs, separate the egg yolk and white, and then pour off half the yolk)
  • 2-3 T cold water
  • 2-3 pears, cored and sliced thinly
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch ground ginger

Instructions

  1. If you have a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt to the food processor bowl and pulse for a second or two. If not, add the ingredients to a mixing bowl.
  2. Cut up 4T of the butter into pieces, and add that to the bowl. Then add the egg yolk. Pulse (for the food processor) for about 10 seconds until it's all mixed together. If using a bowl, cut the butter up with a pastry cutter or two knives. It should be the size of small peas. Then mix everything together.
  3. Add the cold water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is moist enough to form a ball. Then wrap it up in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  4. Take the ball out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Let the dough warm up as the oven comes to temperature. This will make it easier to handle. Pat the dough into a rough circle, pushing outward from the middle with your hands. Then place it on a non-stick cookie sheet (if you don't have one, line it with parchment paper).
  5. Arrange the pear slices on top. You can line them up carefully, or just toss them casually on the crust. Sprinkle the tart with the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Then add the remaining butter, cut up into little pieces, and dot the tart with it.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the crust gets brown and the fruit is juicy and tender. Top with whipped cream or ice cream.

Rustic Pear Tart Substitutions and Variations

  • Don’t have pears? Make this with apples instead (or try peaches in the summer)
  • Add some green cardamom to the tart (along with the other spices)
  • Replace some of the flour with ground almond meal
  • Add a little Reisling or other dessert wine to the filling
  • Top with slivered almonds




More Pear Dessert Recipes

Small Batch Ginger Pear Bread

Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream

Easy Pear Crepe Dessert Recipe for One Person

 

Small Batch Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

It’s apple season! It’s also the time of year when it’s traditional to eat apples and honey (for a sweet Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year).  I brought a full batch of this cinnamon sugar apple bread to my brother’s house for the holiday. They gobbled it up! Pretty good, considering it was competing with mom’s New York cheesecake.

I originally planned to post the entire recipe, which I adapted from Cookies and Cups.  Then I remembered (duh), that this is the “single serving chef” blog, and the portions should be smaller!

I have reduced the sugar and the vanilla, because the original recipe was far too sweet for me. The result is a delicious, and easy to make quick bread (think banana bread, but with apples rather than bananas), that’s full of apple flavor and topped with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.

If you can get them, use a Canville Blanc D’Hiver apple (which is a French tart apple). If not, Granny Smith, Mutsu, or GingerGold will work well. You want an apple that’s firm, crisp, and not too sweet.

I once accidentally made this with cayenne (!) instead of cinnamon. I mention it because it was much better than I would have expected.  I’m not sure I’d do it again deliberately, but it did give me an idea (see the substitutions section).





Small Batch Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Category: dessert

Cuisine: American

three to four servings

Small Batch Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

A rich, delicious cake full of apples and dusted with cinnamon sugar. Serve it warm or cold. It's great topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato.

Ingredients

    Bread
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 C flour
  • 1/4 C butter (half a stick), at room temperature
  • 6 T light brown sugar
  • 4T granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 1 tart apple, peeled and diced
    Topping
  • 1/4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour a small baking dish.
  3. Mix the salt, baking powder, and flour in a small bowl.
  4. Beat the butter, sugars, and cinnamon in your mixer until the mixture is fluffy. If you have a KitchenAid, this should take about a minute, on speed 2. If not, mix on medium speed for two minutes, scraping down the sides.
  5. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix another few seconds (KitchenAid), or about a minute for standard mixers, scraping the sides.
  6. On low speed, alternately add the flour and the milk. Start with some flour, then some milk, then flour, then milk, then flour again. You should begin and end with flour.
  7. Add the chopped apple, and stir just enough to combine.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Mix the remaining sugar and cinnamon together in a small ramekin and sprinkle over the batter.
  10. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Substitutions and Variations for Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

  • Add 1/2 tsp ground ginger to make the cake a bit spicy
  • Give it a bit of a kick with some brandy or Calvados
  • If you’re brave, or like spicy sweets, go for the cayenne
  • Top the bread with bourbon sauce (2 T bourbon, 1/4 C sugar, 2 T butter, heated in a small pan) instead of the cinnamon/sugar.

More Dessert Recipes

Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake Recipe for One

Small Batch Brownies with Cocoa Powder

Cinnamon Sugar Bananas with Brandy

Easy Chocolate Mousse

 




Roasted Cinnamon Nutmeg Butternut Squash

Fall has finally arrived, and the temperature is dropping. It’s time to start thinking about butternut squash, apple crisp, and soups.  I found this recipe for roasted cinnamon nutmeg butternut squash tucked into a cookbook. I’ve no idea where I got it from, but the combination of cinnamon, apple cider, nutmeg, butter, and squash is classic.

Cinnamon and nutmeg add both a bit of spice and sweetness, and the apple cider is both tart and sweet. It’s also apple cider season, so all the ingredients are at their peak now.

Butternut squash are notoriously hard to peel, unless you have an Oxo peeler, which makes this chore much easier.  Or, you can buy the pre-peeled squash.

The rest is just cutting up the squash (use a big, sharp knife), adding the spices, butter, and cider, and baking it in the toaster oven.




Roasted Cinnamon Nutmeg Butternut Squash

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: side dish

Cuisine: American

one serving

Roasted Cinnamon Nutmeg Butternut Squash

A classic squash recipe flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. It's great as a side dish with a simple piece of roast chicken.

Ingredients

  • 1 C butternut squash
  • 1 tsp canola or neutral oil
  • 2T apple cider
  • 1T butter
  • 1/4 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the toaster oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel the squash, remove any seeds, and cut it into cubes.
  3. Grease a small baking pan with the oil (or use butter, if you prefer)
  4. Add the squash, cider, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to taste.
  5. Toss it all together in the pan.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes.

Substitutions and Variations for Roasted Cinnamon Nutmeg Butternut Squash

  • Add some chopped pecans or walnuts after 15 minutes of baking
  • Make it savory: replace the butter with chicken stock, skip the cinnamon and nutmeg, and use curry instead.
  • Bump up the sweetness with honey or maple syrup

Tools and Ingredients for Roasted Butternut Squash

Oxo Swivel Peeler

This peeler cuts through butternut squash skin with virtually no effort. It’s no harder than peeling a cucumber. I’ve had mine for years and it still works flawlessly. There’s even a little scoop at the end for de-eyeing potatoes or removing bruised spots. The handle is comfy and easy to hold. It works on apples, squash, cucumber, carrots, and hasn’t needed any extra care or sharpening. I did add a dab of red nail polish at the end to make it easier to find in my utensil holder.

HIC Small Porcelain Baking Dish

Most baking dishes are far too large for one person or small batch cooking. This is perfect. I use it for the squash, to bake brownies or coffee cake, and reheat leftovers. It”s safe in the oven or microwave, looks great as a serving dish, and can go in the dishwasher if you have one.

More Side Dish Recipes

No Mayo Healthy Cole Slaw Recipe for One

Roasted Paprika Potatoes

Chopped Israeli Salad for One Person