Lentil Mulligatawny with Greens

This recipe is featured in the post Mulligatawny Soup Two Ways, and was originally posted with a typo saying to add turkey to the soup instead of lentils (whoops, sorry). The recipe has been corrected below.

Here’s a redub of the lentil-spinach Mulligatawny commonly found at Indian restaurants across southeastern New England. Made with everyday brown lentils, and chopped frozen kale, all you need are a few pantry staples to make this hearty vegetarian classic at home. Make sure to use fresh tomatoes though, and add them at the end to keep them fresh and juicy. Then complete your meal with some naan bread or basmati rice.

Servings: 4 to 6

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total: 45 to 60 minutes


2 Tbsp.  ghee or vegetable oil*
1 1/2 cups  diced red onions
1 Tbsp.  minced ginger
3 each  minced garlic cloves
1 tsp.  turmeric
1 tsp.  ground cumin
1/4 tsp.  ground coriander
1/4 tsp.  Coleman’s mustard powder
1/2 tsp.  ground black pepper**
1/2 cup  brown or green lentils 
1 Tbsp.  seedless tamarind paste***

1 cup diced bell pepper 
1 cup peeled diced carrot 
3 cups vegetable stock 
1/4 tsp.  ground cardamom 
3/4 cup coconut milk 
1 large tomato, diced 
1 cup chopped green kale ****
pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste
salt to taste
fresh chopped cilantro
greek yogurt, for serving


  1. Heat ghee or vegetable oil in a dutch oven or medium saucepan set over medium heat.  Add onions and ginger and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes until the onions are translucent and just beginning to brown.  
  2. Add garlic, turmeric, cumin, coriander, mustard, and black pepper.  Cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add lentils, tamarind paste, bell pepper, carrot, tomato, vegetable stock, and cardamom.  Bring the mixture to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer.  Cook gently for about 20 to 30 minutes until the lentils are tender.  
  3. Add coconut milk, tomato, and kale, and simmer for 10 minutes more.    Season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper (if desired).
  4. Serve with fresh cilantro and yogurt.

Recipe Notes:

*You can use vegetable oil if you want to keep this vegan, but if you do use ghee or butter, you will definitely notice the difference it makes in flavor.

**Black pepper provides some heat here, but is also a key flavor to complement the lentils and kale in this version of Mulligatawny.

***No tamarind paste, no problem.  Substitute shredded apple and a little vinegar or apple butter for the desired sweet & sour flavor.

****If you don’t have fresh kale, frozen works just as well here.

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