For me, travelling the old Silk Roads (between Europe and China) is all about immersion into the local culture–history, festivals, daily life, markets and food. I keep two large, colourful hardcover books on display in my kitchen so I can have their beautiful photographs and delicious recipes by my side. One is Tasting India by Christine Manfield, and the other is Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey by Najmieh Batmanglij. I bought them for inspiration and for taking me back to my Silk Road travels, food being one of the greatest joys.
It snowed again last night. Tomorrow will be May 1. Almost summer and a cold icy white blanket covers our lawn. I want to go back to India. What could be a better way to take me there than making a nice Mulligatawny Soup for our supper tonight?
Mulligatawny, translated from Tamil, means pepper water and I can use the succulent savoury spices I brought home from South India a few months ago–red chilli pepper(cayenne,) cumin, turmeric and coriander. I’ve been making this soup for so long I know it by heart and use a dash of this and that. I don’t where the original recipe came from but, as Dr Seuss says, I’ll capture them wild and I’ll capture them scrawny and I’ll capture a scrapple -foot Mulligatawny.
So here we go. Bon appetite and happy Silk Road memories.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 tsp each dried cumin and coriander
1 tsp turmeric
¼ tsp red chilli pepper (cayenne)
1 pound carrots, sliced (about 4 cups)
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock and 4 cups water
¼ cup cream or milk
Chopped fresh parsley or coriander
In a big pot gently sauté onions and garlic in oil until transparent, then add the spices and cook another 3 minutes. Add carrots, stir and sauté another 3 or 4 minutes. Pour in the stock and water and simmer 40 minutes. Cool. Blend until smooth then stir in the cream and reheat. (Carefully. Do not boil.) Ladle soup into pretty bowls and garnish with coriander or parsley. Serves 6-8.
Do you have any Silk Road recipes you’d like to share with us?