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Spicy Freekeh Mulligatawny

Hands-on time 29 mins
Total time 59 mins

Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups mulligatawny and 1 tablespoon cashews)

Mulligatawny means “pepper water” and is an Indian curry soup that usually includes diced chicken, cream or coconut milk, and rice or lentils. I kept the rst two elements and replaced the starch with smoky freekeh. For chile-heads, go with 1 1/2 to 2 serrano peppers; for sensitive palates, stick with 1.


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 to 2 serrano peppers, minced (leave seeds in)
  • 1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
  • 3 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 3/4 cup uncooked cracked freekeh
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 6 tablespoons coarsely chopped dry-roasted unsalted cashews
  • Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 369
  • fat 16 g
  • satfat 4.5 g
  • monofat 7.5 g
  • polyfat 2.6 g
  • protein 26 g
  • carbohydrate 33 g
  • fiber 5 g
  • sugars 9 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g
  • cholesterol 63 mg
  • iron 4 mg
  • sodium 502 mg
  • calcium 104 mg

How to Make It

  1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes or until done and lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, ginger, garlic, and serrano; cook 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in curry powder; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add stock, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in freekeh, salt, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in apple; cook 15 minutes or until freekeh is tender. Add chicken and half-and-half; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Ladle soup into 6 bowls. Top each serving with cashews. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Cook's Notes

Executive Editor at Cooking Light, Ann Pittman, explores whole grain's all-around awesomeness in her new book, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice. This complete guide to healthy, hearty, and incredibly versatile whole grains includes something for everyone and offers innovative new techniques to ensure the most flavorful results. From simple, delicious sides to satisfying mains and sublime desserts, this James Beard Award-winning author educates, inspires and does not disappoint. Discover a whole new way of looking at whole grains, how they are prepared, and how they can be incorporated into a healthy diet at every meal.

Also appeared in: Oxmoor House, March, 2016, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice;