A Family Favourite


Mid-week meals I often turn to my trusted family favourites. Being half Indian, I usually cook a South Indian curry on a weekly basis and usually try and go for one vegetarian option to cover everyone’s preferences! My daughter is a huge chickpea curry fan and is very particular about which types of chick peas are used. I’ve included this very simple recipe below.

This special cookbook is a Kerala classic written by Mrs K.M Mathew & my mother had this book when we were kids, I have my own 1992 edition and use it religiously. What I love about it, is it is still printed on that particular paper all text books were printed on in the 70’s plus it has hand drawn pictures of implements and utensils which is very cute. There are also some very interesting forewords by Mrs Mathew about “Keralites and their food” and “An Appreciation of Traditional Fare” plus a particularly lovely paragraph about how she feels confident “the book will prove a faithful friend to the young housewife, who is yet to pick up the fundamentals of cooking.” I think, over the years, it has served me very well indeed!


Thomas Family Chickpea Curry (feel free to adapt as you wish)

¾ cup dried chickpeas soaked in water overnight (or 1 can. I prefer not to use canned but if you are in a hurry and have no dried peas, this is fine)

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 small onion finely chopped

2-3 cloves garlic finely chopped

5cm fresh ginger finely grated or chopped

1 fresh green chilli finely chopped (can use more if you like it hotter)

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp ground cumin

Chilli powder to taste (again, I only use a pinch as not everyone in the family likes it spicy)

1 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp salt

300g chopped tomatoes or ¾ tin tomatoes

1 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp lemon juice


Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat..

Add the onions and fry for 10-15 minutes until softened and golden brown.

Stir in the garlic, ginger and green chillies and fry for 1 minute, then add the coriander, cumin, chilli powder and turmeric and fry for 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and water from the tin (if using) and salt and bring to a simmer. If using soaked dry peas, add extra cup or 2 of water.

Cook for 20 minutes the stir in the garam masala and lemon juice.

Serve with fresh coriander, steamed rice and plain yoghurt along with any other curries or dishes you may have made.

Some of the fascinating images from the book!