For this masala I used Helen’s chicken sukha masala (dry ingredients only) please follow the method of roasting and grinding which which you can find at http://www.pottypadre.com/chicken-sukka-or-kori-sukka/
I make and store this masala for about 60 days. Also use any left over vegetables to cook this dish but a combination of hardy and softer vegetables go well. Avoid capsicum at all cost in this dish.

Coconut -1/2
Ground masala -3 heaped tablespoons
Ginger and garlic paste – one teaspoon
Onions – 2
Mushrooms – 200 grams
Potatoes – 2
Carrots – 1
Peas – a handful
Cauliflower – 250 grams

Grind the coconut in a blender with water to a fine paste. Heat oil and brown the finely chopped onions onions. Add ginger and garlic paste and stir well. Add the ground masala and the coconut paste and mix well. Add water enough for a curry. When the curry reaches boiling point drop to simmer and cook the vegetables according to how hardy it is. I dropped the potatoes in first and after it was half cooked I added the cauliflower followed by the mushrooms and peas.
Garnish with fresh coriander.

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This dish is a thick gravy and is meant to be eaten a day later. If you are using Goa vinegar then please mix it with white vinegar to a fifty-fifty mix. You could also marinate the pork in the ground green masala for half a day in the fridge. If you do that leave it out after marination till it comes to room temperature. Add it to the friend onions and follow the recipe as below .

Ingredients

Lean Pork – 1 kg

Grind together
Fresh coriander- 100 grams
Mint leaves – 10 grams
Green chillies – 11
Cardamom- 6
Cumin seeds- 2 heaped teaspoons
Black peppercorns – 1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon- 2 inch stick
Cloves – 6
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Garlic – 10 to 12
Vinegar – four tablespoons
Sugar – 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon
Salt

For frying
Onions – 300 grams

In a pot heat some oil (not too much as the pork releases its fat) add the onions and fry till translucent. Do not cut down on the number of onions specified. If your dish never turns out as good as you think it should it’s because you are perhaps tampering with recipes and not because the person giving it to you is dropping an ingredient.

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Theophanies in my kitchen -Transfiguration of  Our Lord Jesus – Matthew 17:1- 9

Think about it…what if we were never permitted to see the face of God, ever ! But here we are today, privileged to gaze at Him in the Blessed Sacrament and receive Him in Holy Communion.

Not so if you were an Old Testament prophet or patriarch, much less an ordinary Israelite. Moses and Elijah, both of whom are mentioned in the narration of the transfiguration, never saw God’s face. To make matters worse they had to trudge up a high mountain just to hear His voice.  

So what’s with mountains? Jesus seemed to like them a lot. The second temptation is on the mountain, so is His place of prayer. The Sermon on the Mount was given on a mountain and so too, the transfiguration of today’s gospel.

To a Jew of the first century, this imagery would not require an interpreter, even more if you mentioned Elijah and Moses in the same breath. Theophanies or God’s manifestation always took place on a mountain and couple that with a cloud cover. Put the two together and God was going to make an appearance.

So is the presence of Elijah and Moses just for representational purposes to make our narrative look good? After all Elijah represented the prophets and Moses represented the law and no Jew would deny the importance of the law and the prophets. Besides, it makes for a great PR campaign for Jesus.

For greater clarity, (in you spare time) open your Bible to Exodus 24:12-16, 33:17-23 and I Kings 11:13. You will find a lot of parallelisms to the transfiguration of Jesus. Like Jesus, both Moses and Elijah go up a mountain; in fact, the same mountain. Moses takes a disciple, just like Jesus did. Moses and Elijah desired to see God’s face, but were denied. They both saw His glory but not His face for they were told that they would die if they saw God’s face. Both of them had their faces covered by God’s hand or His mantle.

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Ten years ago I was appointed to St Jude Church, Malad East as priest-in-charge of a parish with a congregation that now stands at 799 souls. These have been the best ten years of my pastoral ministry spanning twenty years; years of truly living the faith among a faith filled people. 

Faith is not something that we in the Catholic Church are called to ‘sell’, it is something that we are called to live. You can’t just preach it from the pulpit, for conversion does not take place with mere words as much as it does when the heart encounters a life lived in faith.

Bloom where you are planted is easier said than done especially when our Church till a year ago was all of 1200 square feet in size, no rest room, a desk for an office, where three pews serve as a class room for catechesis and were neighbours of other faiths take umbrage that you run a Church on the ground floor of a residential building (I quite understand their annoyance).

St Jude’s parish is no walk in the park; geographically it encompasses a large area though the Catholic faithful are few. Poverty is a way of life for most people and job opportunities are hard to come by. A devout congregation such as this has to often make a hard choice between attending a Sunday mass or earning bread for the family. There are challenges galore but here live a people of faith who don’t ask God to reduce the conflict they face, as much as they ask him to increase their courage. In this parish, I have been blessed to minister.

The feast of St John Vianney cannot be an exclusive celebration for the priest, for without those entrusted to his care what priesthood would he have? And so I share the joy of this feast day with my people of St Jude’s family (we don’t call ourselves a parish for we live the bonds of a family) and in these days with the entire online Church that joins me for daily and Sunday mass.

 I share it with a faith filled people who accept the priest they get with his strengths and failings and don’t get to pick and choose the priest they want. I share it with a family that welcomes us priests into their hearts and homes, often sacrificing much more than the ‘sacrifices’ that the priest is called to make. I share it with friends who slip their arm around you, comforting you when in pain and shielding you from attack when in fact that is what the priest as shepherd is called to do.

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Our text will best be served if we read the entire pericope from verse 1-14. We are told that the Pharisees and scribes have come from Jerusalem. Perhaps they were bewildered about this Galilean Rabbi that was making waves far from the heart of Jewish Jerusalem. They came because they were bewildered but in a short time they will be genuinely outraged.

While religion today has often become ‘politically correct’, Jesus called a spade a spade if not used a couple of colourful adjectives to supplement the nouns. Remember he called them a brood of vipers and in this case, hypocrites (verse7), a word he uses 21 times in the New Testament to describe religious hypocrisy. His offence was even registered by his own disciples who caution him about ticking off the religious establishment. Jesus’ response was ‘leave them alone’ (verse 11). It’s almost like he was saying, ‘why do you bother about these guys?’ And if this is not enough, wait till you read Chapter 23 where Jesus tares into the religious establishment.

Why is Jesus so hostile to these religious leaders who have traversed much land to seek him? For starters, Jesus was not looking for trouble, trouble found him. Surely, the scribes and Pharisees have already observed him teach and seen him heal but since his teaching is radically opposed to their tradition filled beliefs, they pick on him. Unable to pin Jesus down to a doctrinal default they attack him on issues relating to the fringes of faith which so often take centre stage. “Why do you break the tradition of the elders?”(verse2)

What is this tradition that they speak of? The Pharisees believed that the oral law came from Sinai. Remember that the written law, namely the Torah, is not in question here and Jesus has not spoken a word against the Torah.  These oral laws were then codified into the Mishna and Talmud which we commentaries on the commentaries of the Law. The Talmud consisted of 63 books into 8 volumes. That’s a lot of oral tradition to follow.

So Jesus gets to the point. He confronts their hypocrisy for not keeping the commandments of God which supersede human traditions. God’s command to honour father and mother was twisted by the Pharisees to create a back door exit. Now, one was exonerated by these religious authorities from keep the commandment if they gave the same money meant for the care of their parents to the temple treasury. And none of this evil bothered their conscience.

Jesus rubbishes the hand washing tradition which began as a good hygiene practice and then got morphed into religious superstition. The Jews had come to believe that Shibtah, a deamon, attached himself to their hands as one slept and hence ingesting food would be ingesting the demon.

Jesus is not attacking scripture, he his attacking tradition. While traditions can remind us of important spiritual truths (2 Thessalonians 2:15) it cannot supersede scripture and human traditions are the worst.

The Levitical Law (Chapter 11) prohibited certain foods; animals that did not chew the cud, those that did not have cloven hooves and fish without scales. In short you could not eat any insect, no sorpotel and definitely no lobster thermidor and garlic prawns. Yet for Jesus what was important is not how we act but why we act. Religious traditionalist focus on the outward but God focuses on the inward.

What’s our take away from this? Religion today can end up as a series of acts and actions that please God with our observances of rules and regulations. For Jesus it is the state of our heart that matters. Today we have to ask ourselves if we have become a Church filled with human traditions that offend God.

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