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Instant Pot Mulligatawny Soup is creamy and richly satisfying with bright and spicy Indian flavors. This vegan-adaptable version is delicious as is or can easily be built upon adding chicken, more veggies and basmati rice. An easy and fast weeknight meal! With a video!
What is Mulligatawny and where did it originate?
Mulligatawny is a spiced soup that has evolved over time and is said to have originated during the British Raj, where the British clung to their desire for a soup course. However, soup was not part of traditional Indian cuisine, so a quick solution was to water down one of the South Indian dishes. The name “Mulligatawny” came from a garbled interpretation of several dishes.
The British then brought the recipe back home with them, making modifications and adaptations, adding meats and local ingredients. It became quite popular in restaurants and is still on many menus today.
Though there are many various forms and versions of this soup today, the mainstays of the original creation seem to always include curry powder, apple, and chilies.
Here is a version, made with red lentils, yams and carrots that is lusciously creamy, lightly sweet with a spicy kick. The flavors are well-rounded and warmly gratifying.
Instant Pot Mulligatawny Soup Video
In this time of seasonal transition, where signs of spring start to subtly tease, I find myself running towards the pockets of warm sunny rays. It feels so amazing to just bask in the light! Animals know! I need to take more cues from my dog who just luxuriates in the sun’s warmth without any other agenda.
I am loving more spice in my meals right now too. Give me heat in all the forms to break me out of my hibernating winter haze! Make this Mulligatawny Soup with more or less of a spicy kick, up to you!
Gather and prepare your ingredients.
Add ghee, cumin, mustard, and coriander seeds to the instant pot. Saute 2 minutes.
Add onion, garlic, ginger, whole serrano chili, and curry powder. Saute 3 more minutes.
Add carrot, yam, apple, broth, red lentils, sea salt, tomato, and coconut milk. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any stuck bits and pieces.
Set the instant pot to medium pressure for 10 minutes.
This soup keeps well in the fridge for days and flavors get even better.
Serve the Instant Pot Mulligatawny as is- or enhance with protein, basmati rice or naan bread.
Where ever you are I hope you can find some time to just simply luxuriate in the sounds and feel of the changing season, letting go of the agenda even for just a moment.
More recipes you may like:
- Our 25 Best Instant Pot Recipes | Easy Pressure Cooker Meals
- Indian Coconut Lentil Curry
- Comforting Lentil Dal with Sweet Potatoes
- Our 25 BEST Lentil Recipes!
- Moroccan Lentil Quinoa Soup
- 35 Must-Try Indian Recipes to Make at Home
Instant Pot Mulligatawny Soup
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Indian
- Diet: Vegan
Instant Pot Mulligatawny Soup is so creamy and richly satisfying with bright and spicy Indian flavors. This vegan adaptable version is delicious as is or can easily be built upon adding chicken, more veggies and rice. An easy and fast weeknight meal!
- 3 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 serrano chili, slit in half leaving the stem intact
- 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 yam, cubed
- 1 green apple, cubed
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 15 ounces coconut milk
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro- leaves and stems, chopped
- 1–3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Turn instant pot on saute function. Add ghee and cumin, mustard, coriander seeds. Saute 2 minutes.
- Add onion, garlic, ginger, the slit serrano chili, and curry powder. Saute 3 more minutes.
- Add carrot, yam, apple, broth, red lentils, sea salt, tomato, and coconut milk. Stir and scrape any bits stuck on the bottom. Set the instant pot to medium pressure for 10 minutes.
- Release the pressure. Stir in parsley, cilantro and lemon juice.
Serve with yogurt and naan bread or basmati rice.
Optional garnish- tempered seeds (so crunchy and flavorful!) Just before serving in a small skillet, heat 2 teaspoons ghee (or grapeseed oil), 2 teaspoons each: mustard seed, whole coriander & whole cumin. Fry a few minutes until spices darken a bit and smell heavenly.
Make more of a hearty meal; add chicken thighs or breasts (or chickpeas) to the Mulligatawny before pressure cooking, cook basmati rice in a separate pot. Serve in a bowl with soup ladled over the rice. Top with yogurt, chopped tomatoes, cashews and more fresh cilantro.
For stove top follow instructions using a heavy bottom soup pot, sautéing over medium heat. After adding all ingredients let simmer 40-50 minutes.
- Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
- Calories: 387
- Sugar: 8.9 g
- Sodium: 962.4 mg
- Fat: 27 g
- Saturated Fat: 22.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 36.2 g
- Fiber: 6.4 g
- Protein: 4.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: Instant Pot Mulligatawny Soup, Mulligatawny Soup, Mulligatawny Recipe, How to make Mulligatawny Soup
You show cashews for a topping in the photo but not in the ingredients list.
Feel free to add cashews! It is not crucial for the soup but a yummy addition.
One of my favorite soups made so much easier! I think next time I’ll add some extra lentils but otherwise this recipe is so spot-on. Thank you for sharing!
Great to hear Max!
Excellent! I added chicken that was browned in a separate skillet. Might be better to brown with the onions? Was delicious in any case
Glad you enjoyed! The chicken will brown more in the separate skillet, like you did it. It would be good to sautéed with the onions and will probably result in softer texture. Both fine depending on your preference.
This was so delicious and easy to prepare. The flavors were incredible. It was a crowd pleaser.⭐️
Wonderful to hear Anne!
Absolutely delish!! I’ve made it twice so far. I used the stovetop, which filled the house with the amazing aromas. The only thing I did differently the second time was added chick peas and cubed potatoes and only because they are staple Indian foods.
Perfect Shelly, so glad you are enjoying!
We love this soup and its flavor, especially the tart from the green apple with the sweetness of the yams. It is so easy for quick weeknight meals that we make a few times per month.
Great to hear this Joel. Thanks for the reminder, I need to make this again soon!
Loved it as is what could replace the yam here? Family really doesn’t like yams or sweet potatoes in any shape or form, I’m hesitating between regular potatoes, bell peppers, and broccoli. Thank you so much!
I would probably add more carrots along with the potato, for the sweet balance that the yam gives.
You could try butternut squash
I made this soup on the weekend and it was delicious. I blended the whole lot once it was cooked then added chicken breast and peas. Leftovers were even better, the flavour improves. Definitely a winner on a cold night.
Glad you enjoed this!
Wonderful! Definitely putting this in the regular rotation. I doubled the mustard, cumin, coriander, and ginger because I know I like stronger flavors and didn’t want to worry about doing crispy spices at the end. Thanks for another winner!
Absolutely delicious. All my family now have a new favourite.
Great to hear Val!
I would add more heat to my personal preference next time, perhaps two Serrano peppers. This was delicious! Lovely addition of a green apple. I subbed sweet potato for yam and used a mix of yellow and red lentils.
Sounds great Noor.
The family loved this soup and its a definite keeper
Great to hear!
I have a silly question! If I want to double the recipe, would I just double the lentil and yam? Or all the ingredients? I recently made a curry that I tripled and it felt like it was very heavy on the spices because I just naturally tripled everything. I needed to top it up with yoghurt/more coconut cream. It is important to mention here that the recipe I used was not yours, and that I never made it as a one portion meal either. So I cannot compare.
I will certainly use your recipes, everything seems very healthy, straightforward and flavoursome! Oh and the colours!!!! Just love them!
Hi Zsofia- I would double everything. 🙂 If worried about spice level, you can always go a bit lighter and add more to taste- but I think you are fine to double here. 🙂
Thank you. The soup is great but be careful about adding the “Optional garnish- tempered seeds.” I ate the soup because it was so good but did not enjoy the fried seeds in it.
So delicious, easy, and one of my favourite meals!
Thanks Jamie, I love this one too.
I loved this soup – especially with the addition of chicken, serving with basmati and all the suggested toppings. It was a surprise hit with my husband and three teenagers, as well. Your description of creamy, bright and richly satisfying is spot-on. The curry flavor is not too overpowering at all. Can’t wait to warm it up for leftovers today!
Thanks Jennifer, it is so gratifying to make everyone happy!
I would like to try this for a ladies group that will be coming to my house in a couple of weeks. I may need to double it, and I don’t have an instant pot. Do I need to make any adjustments?
Hi Lisa, Doubling should be no problem. Stove-top method is in the notes section under the recipe. Hope you and your ladies group enjoy!