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Exotic Mulligatawny: Spicy, flavorful and deliciously different

Posted: October 2, 2012 - 3:07pm  |  Updated: October 3, 2012 - 9:55am

With its roots in India, mulligatawny (literally translated as “pepper water”) typically contains curry spice, coconut milk and stock made with chicken or meat. From there, the combinations of foods found in mulligatawny stews or soups vary widely, as evidenced in the Washington State Apple Commission’s flavorsome recipe for Apple Mulligatawny, which includes ingredients such as Granny Smith apples, butternut squash and chicken. The recipe calls for serving the dish with basmati rice, or “naan” bread – a kind of oven-baked, or grilled, flatbread that is popular in Indian cuisines, but I couldn’t choose, so I made both. Layered in piquant flavor, varied textures and rich autumn color, mulligatawny is a meal well suited for a quiet supper or for feeding a crowd. And, if you want to cut down on time in the kitchen, it can be prepared with supermarket-cooked rotisserie chicken and pre-made naan bread. One of the best things about mulligatawny is that it can be tailored to your individual tastes. I think the next time I make it, I might try adding some dry-roasted peanuts (about one-third cup tossed in with the apples and chicken) and maybe even increasing the “heat” with a bit more curry paste. Whether you enjoy the recipe as is, or spice it up a bit, Apple Mulligatawny is a fall dish worth trying – and soon.

Apple Mulligatawny

Recipe courtesy Washington State Apple Commission (www.bestapples.com)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup diced carrot

1 cup thinly sliced celery

1 tablespoon minced gingerroot

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon curry paste*

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup coconut milk*

2 cups chicken stock

2 cups cubed butternut squash*

4 cups diced Washington Granny Smith apples

2 cups diced cooked chicken

¼ cup chopped fresh coriander (or cilantro)

 

In deep skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in gingerroot, garlic, curry paste, salt and pepper and cook one minute. Pour in coconut milk and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add squash and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Add apple and chicken and cook just until apples are tender but still hold their shape, about 10 minutes more. Sprinkle with coriander and serve with warm naan bread or cooked basmati rice. Makes 4 servings.

Chef’s tip: Replace ½ cup of the chicken stock with your favorite dry white wine for an ideal meal for entertaining.

*Kitchen Ade note: For the purposes of this recipe, I used the entire contents of 13.5-ounce can of coconut milk. Also, red curry paste, available for purchase in Asian markets, was excellent in this dish. Tips for handling fresh butternut squash follow.

How to handle butternut squash

1. With a sharp, heavy knife, cut off and discard the stem and bottom end of the squash. Aiming where the squash intersects (at the round base and the neck), cut the squash in two. The seeds of a butternut squash are located on the fat (stem) end.

2. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and fibers from the stem end. (There are no seeds in the neck end.) Do not discard seeds if you plan to roast them. Place squash halves, cut side down, on a sturdy surface and slice downward to remove skin. If the neck portion is too long to handle, cut into two shorter pieces.

3. Once the squash is peeled, cut into desired sizes for recipes and cooking.

Naan Bread

Recipe courtesy Allrecipes.com, www.allrecipes.com

Submitted by: Mic

 

1 (.25-ounce) package active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

¼ cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1 large egg, beaten

2 teaspoons salt

4½ cups bread flour

2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)

¼ cup butter, melted

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume. Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. During the second rising, pre-heat grill to high heat. At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared. Makes 14 servings.

Just for fun, apple boxes and apple labels

The Washington State Apple Commission’s Anniversary Blog (the organization celebrated its 75th anniversary on March 17, 2012) maintains a gallery of vintage apple box labels for viewing at www.bestapples.com/galleria/plugins/flickr/boxlabels.html. Pictured are examples of but a few.

 

Source: Washington State Apple Commission (www.bestapples.com)

• The wooden apple box dates back to 1891 when Washington Apples were first field packed and shipped in boxes.

• Wood boxes were in steady decline after WWII, but 1958 was the year marked as the general industry changeover from the wood box to tray packed apples in cardboard boxes.

• The end of the wood apple box meant the end of the apple box label industry, now considered collector’s items by many people.

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