Chef Madhu Arora from Ma Indian Cooking

Chef Madhu Arora from Ma Indian Cooking

Ingredients

Main

2 cups chick peas (soak overnight)

4 tbsp oil

5 cups water

Fresh

2 onions, chopped

3 tsp ginger, crushed

1 chilli (finely chopped)

3 tomatoes (chopped)

2 tbsp tomato paste 

2 tbsp tamarind paste

Handful of coriander (chopped)

Dry

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 cinnamon stick

1 brown cardamom

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp roasted cumin powder

Method

1. Heat oil in a heavy based saucepan and add cumin seeds, cinnamon

stick and cardamom.

2. Add chopped onion and cook, stirring till the onions turn brown.

3. Add ginger and fresh chilli and cook for 1 minute.

4. Add chopped tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, till the masala

is well done and starts to leave oil.

5. Turn the heat to low and add salt, chilli powder, coriander powder,

garam masala, roasted cumin powder and tomato paste. Stir and mix

well.

6. Add chick peas and water. Stir, and bring to a boil.

7. Cover and cook on low heat for an hour, until the chick peas are soft.

8. Stir in the tamarind paste and simmer for five minutes.

9. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with rice or bread. 

The story behind the recipe

My journey into the world of teaching cooking with Ma Indian Cooking started from a desire to share compassionate food options with the community. The classes have been a wonderful platform to share the joy and comfort of hearty home cooked meals, whilst also reducing our carbon footprint. My journey into the world of teaching cooking started from a desire to share compassionate food options with the community. The classes have been a wonderful platform to share the joy and comfort of hearty home cooked meals, whilst also reducing our carbon footprint. 

Family and love are central to my cooking. Many of the recipes I teach are based on those that have been handed down from generations. My grandmother’s recipes a particularly special to me. 

I believe in compassion and making kind choices. Our food choices play a key role in creating a sustainable planet for all living beings and our future generations. 

There is so much to learn from the diversity of Indian Culture.  Our classes integrate various regional cuisines, principles of Ayurveda and a holistic cultural experience. "Ahimsa" which means non-violence on every level, is one of the key cultural principles which has inspired my cooking and these classes. 

Growing up in India, the days of celebrating Diwali were filled with fun, family, food and prayer.  Known as the festival of light, Diwali signifies the removal of darkness from our intellect. 

India is a land of vibrant festivals, in which food plays such a central role. I love the unique stories and traditions that are woven into each of the festivities.  The process of cooking, eating and sharing serves to not only bring joy, but also brings individuals, families and communities together.

Having spent time living with my grandparents as a young girl, I was inspired by their simple and sustainable lifestyle. Fruits and vegetables were home grown, and all local families and communities shared their produce with each other. Life was simple, and this was reflected even in the food. Meals were simple yet wholesome, and prepared with the freshest of ingredients. Nothing was wasted, and everything was shared. The entire process of creating a meal can be therapeutic, and indeed, inspiring.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are centred around family meals. Growing up, our extended family would gather around the tandoor (clay oven) on weekends in winter to prepare and enjoy freshly cooked stuffed parathas (flatbread) paired with various condiments and piping hot cups of masala chai. The women would be cooking, whilst the men took care of the preparation and cleaning. The afternoon would flow into the evening with chatting and bonding, and of course more eating. 

- Madhu Arora