Pepper Water

The original mulligatawny, or pepper water, was a thin pungent soup flavoured with a little fried onion. This recipe is from a 19th-century cookbook:

Method

‘Required: a pint and a half of cold water, the juice of a lemon, a dessertspoonful of salt, two cloves of garlic, an onion, a dozen peppercorns, a tablespoonful of curry powder, and a bit of onion fried in butter. Cost, about 4d. Add the lemon juice to the water, then pound the spices and onion in a mortar; put all in a saucepan, and bring to the boil, and simmer for a quarter of an hour, then put in the fried onion, and give another boil, and strain through muslin. This should be bottled and corked for use. A little tamarind may be used instead of lemon, or in addition. This is useful for flavouring purposes. To increase the pungency, use more peppercorns or reduce the water. A few chillies may be added.’

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