WF2 Recipe: Mulligatawny Stew

There is a ridiculously long list of new recipes on my whiteboard that I want to share with you, but that requires re-making them, picking out cute photo props, taking a photo, then writing up the blog post — all of which seems impossibly daunting right now. My thoughts are like this: OMG, WE’RE MOVING TO VERMONT IN, LIKE, 6 WEEKS, AND WE NEED TO PLAN THE MOTHER OF ALL MOVING SALES AND DAMN IT! WHY DID I PLAN TO GO TO A CONFERENCE AND A PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL OF THIS?!

I’m keeping my commitment to lifting heavy things and meditating and getting 10,000 steps every day and eating Whole30 style, which means the meals on our plates lately are pretty unimaginative: usually variations on grilled meat, salads/raw veggies, sweet potato hash, and berries. I have zero extra energy to figure out exciting meals… which means I don’t have new recipes to share with you… yet.

Instead, I thought I’d post a few cookbook recipes that I’m relying on right now. We always have Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup in the fridge, and I just made a huge pot of Mulligatawny Stew because it’s fast to make, tastes like someone loves you, and reheats like a champ. Try it and see for yourself.


Mulligatawny Stew from Well Fed 2

Serves 6-8 | Cook 25 minutes | Simmer 55 minutes | Whole30 compliant

This aromatic stew with a light touch of creaminess originated in India and became popular in Britain during the UK occupation. I learned about Mulligatawny Stew in college when I subscribed to the monthly installments of McCall’s Cooking School. I was smitten with the photo of a brass tureen shaped like a crown and filled to the brim with golden soup flecked with coconut. The taste lives up to the visual: it’s silky, rich without cloying, and balances the warmth of curry with the sweetness of apples.

Trust me on this: It tastes even better on the second and third day. If you can make it in advance, do it! It also freezes and defrosts very well.

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
salt and ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)
3/4 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch coins
2 medium stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 medium apples, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder (I like Penzeys Maharaja.)
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
pinch cayenne
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 batch Cauliflower Rice

minced fresh parsley leaves
sliced almonds, toasted


1. Sprinkle the chicken assertively with salt and pepper. Heat a large, deep pot over medium-high heat, then add 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil. When the oil is melted, add the chicken in a single layer with some elbow room around each piece. Brown in batches so a golden crust forms, about 5 minutes per side. Remove cooked chicken to a bowl to catch the juice.

2. Add 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil to the pot. Add onions, carrots, celery, apples, coconut flakes, and garlic. Sauté 7-10 minutes, scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. In a small bowl, mix the arrowroot, curry powder, salt, chili powder, allspice, cayenne, and bay leaf. Stir-fry until the spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3. Add the broth and water to the pot and stir to combine. Nuzzle the chicken into the liquid and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, 45 minutes. Stir the coconut milk into the pot and simmer uncovered, 10 more minutes.

4. Serve on top of Cauliflower Rice and sprinkle cheerfully with parsley and almonds.


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24 Responses to “WF2 Recipe: Mulligatawny Stew”

  1. Don Wright says:

    Sounds like a great and easy recipe. But… Why does it say:
    “1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil”?

    Is that supposed to be:
    “1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil”?

    • Mel says:

      Nope… it’s two servings of 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil. The first is the brown the chicken and the second is to sauté the vegetables. The instructions tell you clearly when to add each dose of coconut oil.

  2. Corey says:

    Mel-can you recommend how to best store bone broth in the freezer? Thanks!

    • You can cool it, then pour into glass jars and freeze… or store in BPA-free plastic containers. The last time I used glass jars, they cracked ;-( so I’m back to plastic.

  3. Kara says:

    Another amazing recipe! This has a nice touch of heat to it while still being kid friendly. It was even better the next day. This is definitely going into our regular meal rotation. What would I do without this site!!!!

    • I’m really happy you like it! We love it, too! It’s become my fall-back when I’m not sure what to make, and I know I’m going to have a busy week. It freezes great, too!

  4. Danielle says:

    I knew I had found a staple with your Silky Gingered Zucchini soup, and I must admit, I was a little apprehensive about this dish since I’m not normally a fan of curry. I was so wrong! This is the best chicken soup I’ve ever made. It’s rich and full of flavor, and the chicken is perfect. This has become a staple in my weekly pre-made work lunches. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  5. Terence says:

    Mel, just found your blog today and saw this recipe. I just started my first Whole30 5 days ago and this was the first meal I made. I had googled paleo stew and found it. Anyway I am so glad I found your blog and now I want to thank you for the recipe. Wow, I loved it! It will be a regular for me.

  6. Petra says:

    Corey – I have found that freezing my bone broth in a silicon muffin tray then putting the pucks into containers is my favourite way to store it. Cheers!

  7. Cassie says:

    Do I need the arrowroot powder? I have all the other ingredients. I assume it’s a thickener?

  8. Tracey says:

    OH. My. Goooodnnesssz!!!
    Serious girl crush developing. I may just invite myself over for dinner when I come to Austin. 😉
    Every single recipe I’ve made from both Well Fed and Well Fed2 are absolute homeruns! Brava Bella!!! I started making double recipes and packaging them up for friends for their weekly meals. Little side business! Thanks.
    AND THIS… mulligatawny…. I’m in love!!!
    First time, I forgot the coconut milk… (Didn’t realize until I made it again…lol… I was hungry!). I did add 2 more Tbarrowroot, as I like it more gravy-like. Second time around, I omitted the 2 cups water.
    Favorite go-to recipe. Love the curry without tomatoes.
    ROCK ON siStar!

  9. bethany says:

    Dang! This was the BEST soup I’ve had in a very long time. I mixed the carrots with some parsnips and used hot madras curry and it was incredible day of. Can’t wait to have more tomorrow after the flavors settle in. Well done!

  10. Melanie says:

    I use a couple different recipe apps, Papeika being my favorite. Neither of them will work with your recipes. It’s a huge bummer. Do you have an app that you can suggest that will accept your formatting? I have your first cookbook, but I like being able to leave the book at home and just check off my grocery list as I go, using the apps.


  11. Rachael says:

    thank you for the recipe, mel! this is making my house smell so good on this cold sunday night! can’t wait to eat it throughout the week!

  12. Trish says:

    Wow. I have been cooking your recipes for about two years now, and just about every single one has found a place of high honor in my personal recipe book (I seriously don’t even bother with other recipe websites), but THIS recipe… THIS is simply THE BEST curry I’ve EVER HAD. We will be making this every one or two weeks for probably forever. It’s even mild enough that my 2.5 year old gobbled it all up. THANK YOU!!

  13. Whitney says:

    I made this last night and it was SUBLIME. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers. The broth was perfectly seasoned – savory, sweet, and a little rich. It’s a tie between this and your Pad Thai for my favorite meal of my Whole30!

  14. Christina says:

    Delicious soup! Love sprinkling both assertively and cheerfully too ?

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