Mulligatawny with Lentils

1 February 2019 By

A spicy nourishing South Indian soup called Resam or Mulligatawny. Resam is served during the rainy season and when someone is suffering from a bad bout of the flu. Most of the older generation swear that a cup ‘unblocks’ the nose. While the pepper and ginger are said to be ‘warming’. This version of resam has a rich pungent flavour and goes well with rice dishes. Resam keeps overnight and can be consumed over two to three days. To increase the nutritional benefits add chicken bones or crab claws.


Ingredients − Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds, roasted
  • 1½ tbsp peppercorns, roasted
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, roasted
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped/diced
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 green chillies
  • 150 g tamarind extract/block pre-soaked in 1 litre of warm water than squeezed to extract 4-5 cups of light juice
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • Oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp urud dahl
  • 2 dry chillies, broken up
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ cup boiled toor dahl, mashed
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Pound the roasted coriander seeds, peppercorns and cumin seeds into a coarse mixture.
  2. Then add in the tomato, garlic and green chillies and pound into a mash.
  3. Mix with the tamarind juice.
  4. Add pinch of salt and asafoetida.
  5. Heat oil in a pan, throw in the mustard seeds and when they splutter, add in the urud dhal, dry chillies, curry leaves, onions and turmeric powder.
  6. Add the pounded mixture from Steps 1 and 2. Bring to a boil, add the cooked lentils (toor dahl) and salt to taste.
  7. Sieve and serve with coriander leaves.