Have you ever had mulligatawny? Best soup ever! It’s basically a curry soup, most often made with chicken, vegetables, apples, and rice. Not only is it absolutely delicious, it’s the perfect example of how one culture acquires food from another, and adapts it to their own taste.
Mulligatawny is the ultimate “fusion” food, invented centuries before anyone would even know what that meant. It hails from the early days of the British Raj in India.
According to Lizzie Collingham in A Tale of Cooks & Conquerors, the colonialists, wanting a first course for their dinner, requested of their Indian cooks to make them soup. The cooks obliged with what most approximated soup in their repertoire, a light tonic broth made with peppers, tamarind, and water (“molo tunny” in Tamil), dressed up with some vegetables and meat.
Over the centuries the soup evolved to what we know today—a creamy curry chicken soup with apples, rice, and vegetables. It’s a simple, wholesome soup, and a classic in Anglo-Indian cuisine.