ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Some Like It Hot: Class, Gender and Empire in the Making of Mulligatawny Soup

From its humble origin of pepper water, mulligatawny soup seems to have travelled around the globe, and across time. The rise and fall of the popularity of mulligatawny, its adoption and rejection, its asynchronous though linked histories in Britain and in India, serve as the barometer for measuring British attitudes towards India. It allows us to think about histories of cultural exchange and reveals the linkages between food, identity and power. This paper looks at the creation of this soup in the British-Indian Empire. It explains its origins and popularity, and its current ubiquitous presence on menus in Indian restaurants. The history of this soup is a story of class struggle at the level of the dinner table and it is a story, inevitably, about gender.
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