So that’s it. Christmas is over. The wrapping paper is in the recycling and the piles of kids toys consigned to the bedrooms. The good news is it’s Boxing day and the secret chef’s finest day of experimentation. This is the day where we take our copious collections of leftover delights that are cluttering up the fridge from our Christmas over-indulgence and combine them into veritable cornucopia of ingenious recipes.
For most of us that means spice in the form of a traditional post Christmas curry. This year however I’m going to be a bit different…daring almost. This year I am going to put my leftovers into an Anglo-Indian classic from yesteryear, a Mulligatawny soup. Not the Campbell’s variety you understand, but a traditional dish that has featured in cooks repertoires from Mrs Beaton through to Madhur Jeffrey.
Yesterday (Christmas day) I produced a piece of Fore rib beef for our centrepiece. This means I have about one and a half kg of meat and bone left over. Most of the delicious rare meat has been carved up for sarnies. There is however still quite a bit left over, and this got me thinking about soup.
This morning I was up early(ish) to hack up the ribs of that beef, thrown in a large pan with peppercorns, rosemary, 3 carrots, 2 onions and a thumb sized piece of ginger and enough water to easily cover, I boiled it up and simmered for an hour to produce a lovely dark and flavoursome stock. I had my base…now for the rest.
Before we crack on though I just wanted to mention rice. A traditional Mulligatawny is served more like a curry then a soup with rice on the side and spooned in for each mouthful. Here I am going to add the rice in at the end, straight into the bowl then spoon the soup over.
- Your left over beef (lamb or chicken could also be used) – about 300g cut into strips/chunks
- 2 onions cut roughly into 1cm pieces
- 100g ground almond
- 100g plain flour (better still, if you have chickpea flour – also called Gram flour – use this instead…far more authentic)
- 1.5 litres of your beef stock
- 1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
- 1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 heaped tsp of hot English curry powder. This is not a cheat but actually an integral part of the Anglo-Indian fusion and one of the few times curry powder actually works. Alternatively 1 chili chopped will suffice if you don’t have any.
- a good glug of sunflower oil
- a large thumb sized piece of fresh ginger grated
- 4 cloves of garlic cut to a paste with sea salt
- the juice of half a lemon
- 1 cup of basmati rice rinsed three times then left to soak in a large bowl of water for 3 hours. You then need to cook the rice for 10 mins in 2 cups of water. Alternatively, with 15 mins to go, add the rice straight to the soup.
- In a bowl combine the ground almond and flour with about 250 ml of the stock until you have a smooth paste. Set aside for later.
- In a large pan get your oil heating over a medium heat and add your onion. Once softened add the ginger and garlic. After a further 2 mins of cooking add the ground, dry spices including the chili/curry powder, stir for a further 30 secs.
- Now add the remaining stock, the paste of almond and flour and the leftover beef. Season, stir and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 45 mins – 1 hr.
- Before serving, squeeze in the lemon juice and check that seasoning. You may also need to add a little water if the soup feels too thick.
- To serve, place a couple of spoons of the rice into a deep bowl and ladle over the soup. Have a wedge of lemon on the side for added zing.