Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mulligatawny Noms

I had every intention of of writing an honest-to-goodness blog entry today, but then I got a wild hair up my bum and decided to get my hair did. This proved to be a waste of nearly 2 hours of my life. Miraculously I brought a book to read or I would have hopped into a chair and sheared myself. Actually I probably would have just fiddled around on my cellphone and tried to tell myself my hair isn't THAT long. When I got home, I still had vague blog aspirations that fizzled completely when I remembered I had to make soup for a Soup-Off on Friday at work. From this momentary desperation was birthed this cooking themed blog entry. I made an African Peanut Soup on Saturday, and after eating it all (CMM and BSC helped), I had to put all of my eggs in this Mulligatawny basket. Mulligatawny soup translates to 'Pepper Water' in Tamil, and that's about all the wiki says. I found a neat recipe on and fired up the Panasonic TZ5.

The first step was deciding what size pot to use. This sounds simple, but without every time I chose a pot, I find myself getting exponentially more nervous with every new ingredient until I inevitably find myself pouring a scalding soup into a incrementally larger container. I spill, I splash myself in the face, I futilely try to use a ladle with my teeth, and eternally vow to opt for the larger pot. I did no such thing today. I found a hearty pot and set it a-cooking. I love gas ranges by the way (as I know SS does, not to rub it in) but that's another blog entry for another time. I can tell you're getting bored, so here's a 10 megapixel morsel to whet your appetite.

Onion, prepare to meet your maker. I read about some cool way to cut an onion on lifehacker a while back, so now I would put dicing an onion in my Top 5 cooking skills list. Right above cracking an egg and below good safety practices.

See. I told you, poor guy didn't stand a chance. 

Joined by his vegetable brethren (carrot and some leftover celery), we have Ireland's flag as imagined by a dyslexic vegetarian (JB). These will be saute'ed in a healthy amount of butter (shhh).

This is me sauteeing (how the hell is that spelled). I actually used the front burner, but the back burned had better lighting. This is not important to the story or to the finished product, but for some reason I felt guilty about it and wanted to come clean.
Flour and Curry are added to the veggies. Interesting side note. My roommate JL has lots of spice baggies in our spice cabinet, none of which my roommate RH has gotten to yet, meaning they have no labels or distinguishing characteristics to speak of. I know JL has Curry, but he also has Cayenne pepper in a baggie, I don't think they are interchangeable, and once you irreparably burn your mouth trying to taste one to figure out what it is, you get very confused very quickly. Thankfully, my other roommate LK had yellow curry that he graciously allowed me to pillage. 
Chicken stock is added to this mixture, and brought to a simmer for 30 mins. Don't be dainty with the heat. Crank it. I can't imagine how long this would take on an electric range, but suffice to say I'd still be cooking right now. In the meantime you can cook your chicken and dice/core your apples. "Apples?", you say? "Yes. Apples", I say.

Chicken browning beautifully. This is about the time LK yells "SMELLS GOOD!" from the living room. I derive a strange satisfaction from this, even though I have done nothing to warrant it. 

Broth veggie mixture has reached a simmer as you can see from the Starry Night-esque heat trails in the picture. 
Apples are chopped and cored. The bowl is solely for display purposes because I felt they looked sad on the cutting board. When I poured the apples into the soup I put the plate right back into the cupboard without washing it (SHH...).
 When the chicken is cooked, you want to "cube" it. I just chopped it into chunks, because cubing proved difficult. Maybe you are supposed to cube it before you cook it? Or maybe cube is a fancy way of saying "cut up so you don't look like a damn fool trying to eat this".
Also add some white rice. Look at those cuticles. You could eat off them. Wait, what are cuticles? I just looked it up in Google Image. Don't look it up in Google Image.

Throw all that jazz into the pot and boil until the rice is cooked. Then ladle it into a bowl and stir in a bit of cream (I used half+half because I'm a healthy boy) before serving. This is what it should look like:
Delicious is what it should taste like. And it does. The broth is surprisingly rich and flavorful, and the curry adds a unique taste without being spicy. The apples almost have the consistency of potatoes but have a distinctly sweet finish. I gobbled it up. I will edit this blog post with pictures of my trophy Friday afternoon.  

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