Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mulligatawny Soup

The Preface
(This taste test was performed on April 17, 2010)
Mulligatawny is an Indian curry soup that actually means "pepper water". Legend has it Mulligatawny came about when the Brits controlled India and asked that their Indian cooks prepare them soup -- something that isn't traditionally a part of Indian cuisine. The cooks kind of watered down one of their traditional dishes, threw some other random ingredients into a pot and called it Mulligatawny. Just as the  history is unprecise, the recipe is as well. There are as many variations of the soup as there are restaurants that serve it. This makes doing a taste test difficult, but perhaps even that much more important. We need to know:


The Competitors

The Participants

The Methodology
When it came to doing the test, we were really just looking for one thing: which one did we like best? This wasn't a blind test, we just tried to figure out which soup tasted the best and why. In fact, we were too involved in trying to figure it out to even take a picture!

The Results
Zupas - Main ingredients: potatoes, peanuts, tomatoes, white (or maybe yellow) onion, brown sugar. Overall, this was a good soup, quite sweet, but they went a little too heavy on the peanuts. There are a couple of other problems with Zupas, though: first, they don't always have Mulligatawny. It's a seasonal thing that comes and goes. Second: each time they bring back, it's a little bit different. This was the second time I've had their Mulligatawny and it wasn't as good as the first time I had it (I had it again a couple months ago, and again it was different, and not as good as either of the other two times I'd had it). The fact that I can't go get a bowl whenever the mood strikes me is a negative, and the fact that I don't know what I'll be getting even if they do have it makes it hard to recommend Zupas. 

Guru's - Main ingredients: chicken, carrot, rice, red onion, apple, celery. This soup actually had the most curry flavor of the three. It was also sweet, though, and the apples added some sweet tartness to it that made it perfect. The rice added some nice substance but at the same time, it wasn't too heavy. 

Bombay House - Main ingredients: potatoes, lentils, celery, cilantro, white (or maybe yellow) onion. This soup, appropriately enough, was the most "Indian" tasting. It was actually quite spicy and reminded us a bit of a minestrone. It was a good soup, but was very different from the other two. 

In the end, we decided the best Mulligatawny soup in Utah County is:

This was just an amazing soup, blending a lot of different flavors, a nice consistency, amazing smell and nice color. It was also nice to get some meat, and the chicken is yummy. Now we have to get it every time we go to Guru's. 

There have been a few new Indian restaurants that have opened up in Utah County since we did this test, and for as delicious and varied as this soup can be, we just might have to revisit this test sometime...