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Slow-Cooker Chicken Mulligatawny Soup


To move our favorite India-derived soup to the slow cooker, we start by sautéing aromatics (which will never soften in the cooker) on the stovetop. Since the slow cooker doesn’t allow for evaporation and reduction, a higher ratio of flour to liquid gave our soup the right consistency. White meat chicken dried out after 4 hours in the slow cooker, but boneless chicken thighs were just as easy and the meat stayed moist and flavorful. Shredded coconut turned stringy in our soup, but we found that swapping out some of the liquid for canned coconut milk gave just the right sweet creaminess to balance the bold spices—a heady mix of ginger, curry, garam masala, and cayenne.

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  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 celery rib, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 can (13 1/2 ounce) coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • Plain yogurt
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Lime


Servings 8
Adapted from


Step 1

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until onions are softened and just beginning to brown, 10 to 14 minutes.

Add ginger, garlic, tomato paste, curry powder, garam masala, 1 teaspoon salt, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker. Stir in chicken, coconut milk, and lentils.

Cover and cook until chicken and lentils are tender, 4 to 5 hours on low. Let sit, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Using large spoon, skim fat from surface of soup. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste.

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