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Though you can find it in nearly every good Indian restaurant, Mulligatawny is technically a British recipe, based on Indian food. Don't let that fool you, however. Mulligatawny is a rich, creamy, mildly-spiced and delicious soup that even newcomers to Indian flavors can enjoy. I never considered making it at home--it's not even remotely light, after all--but then I found a recipe for an incredibly light stew in a forgotten cook book that I bought for a dollar at a thrift store. The Mulligatawny stew turned out to be almost as good as the real thing, and so I've tweaked it over the years for something that is light and easy to make. Try it, even if you're uncertain about Indian cooking, and you won't be disappointed.
Peel and dice carrots and onion. Dice chicken and lightly coat in salt and pepper. Set aside. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger. Stir.
Stir in curry powder and red pepper. Try not to lean over the cooking spices, because you'll regret it. Add rice. Stir to coat, and then add carrots and onion. Cook until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Make a well in the middle and add the chicken.
Cook chicken until nearly done, stirring constantly. If the rice at the bottom of the pan starts to burn and crust up, add a few tablespoons of the chicken broth and scrape it. Don't worry if there is still a thin layer of browned material, as it will come off as the rice cooks in the next step. Add all of the broth and stir heavily. Cover and let simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
Combine cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water to form a slurry. Pour into the stew. Stir.
Stir in evaporated milk and cover. Simmer for an additional 6-10 minutes until rice reaches desired doneness. Stir one last time--make sure to scrape the bottom--before adding salt and black pepper to taste. Serve hot. Goes well with naan or crusty bread.
-e. magill 5/19/2015
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