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Mulligatawny With Mushrooms Fights Winter Blues

This traditional recipe will help you kick that pesky winter cold.


Mulligatawny is a Tamil word which means “pepper water.” I remember drinking it since childhood particularly during the winter season and especially when I had a cold.

The traditional recipe I grew up with included split mung beans, black lentil flour, curry leaf (an aromatic leaf that grows in India), and everything else in this recipe – except mushrooms.

This is a great concoction to help alleviate winter blues and symptoms of cold. My fussy, high school senior will vouch for it, and he even asks me to make it for him every time he has a cold!


  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced and washed
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 4 garlic pods, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 4-5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves


  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add crushed garlic, ginger powder and cumin powder, and roast for a few seconds.
  2. Add sliced mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Saute till the mushrooms are a little tender.
  3. Add water and freshly ground pepper and rest of the salt. Let it boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar and mix well.
  5. Finally, add 1 teaspoon lemon juice and sprinkle basil.

You can have this soup directly with a dash of cream or butter. Alternatively, place a cup of cooked rice in a serving bowl, pour 2 ladles of Mulligatawny over it, and enjoy it as a meal!

Rama Cousik

Rama Cousik grew up in India, watching and helping her mom cook. The taste, the texture, and the way she feels when she eats seasonal vegetables and fruits are indescribable. Hence, no matter where she lives, the idea of seasonal food is an essential part of her food philosophy.

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