Keeping the Feast Column: Coconut curry brings taste of Church of India to table

July 29, 2019 at 12:37 p.m.
Keeping the Feast Column: Coconut curry brings taste of Church of India to table
Keeping the Feast Column: Coconut curry brings taste of Church of India to table

Lois Rogers

By Lois Rogers | Correspondent

The Holy Season of Lent is a time when folks may be looking for tasty, easy-to-prepare meatless meals. Over the years, The Monitor’s freelance writer Lois Rogers has created a library of meals in her Keeping The Feast column.

Over the years, many wonderful friends have volunteered in the mission fields and brought back not only moving stories of their time but great recipes to share as well. One of the first to do so spent a year in Kerala, India, and returned with great insights about the Saint Thomas Christians who trace their origins to St. Thomas the Apostle in the first century.

Of Italian heritage and the son of one of North Jersey’s most noted chefs, he had a marvelous gift not only for storytelling, but cooking. He enjoyed the Indian cuisine so much that he was eager to introduce it to the group of friends who often gathered in each other’s homes.

From him, we learned about the rich heritage of the Christian community that was part of the Church of the East in India, including those in full communion with the Catholic Church. We learned to appreciate the fine handicrafts and textiles he came home with enough to seek out Indian stores in the boroughs of New York. And we learned to savor Friday night Lenten dinners enhanced by sauces with yogurt (a relatively new sensation back then), flat breads and main dishes rich with curry, coriander, turmeric, chilies and cumin.

I never lost my taste for Indian food and was delighted when my family, based in Newark, Del., became so enchanted with it on their own that it became a mainstay of their menus.

This dish is but one example of an Indian recipe I’ve attempted over the years. It is so easy to put together that it’s almost shameful. It will bring one very tasty bit of the culinary heritage of the vast universal Church to the table this Lent.

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By Lois Rogers | Correspondent

The Holy Season of Lent is a time when folks may be looking for tasty, easy-to-prepare meatless meals. Over the years, The Monitor’s freelance writer Lois Rogers has created a library of meals in her Keeping The Feast column.

Over the years, many wonderful friends have volunteered in the mission fields and brought back not only moving stories of their time but great recipes to share as well. One of the first to do so spent a year in Kerala, India, and returned with great insights about the Saint Thomas Christians who trace their origins to St. Thomas the Apostle in the first century.

Of Italian heritage and the son of one of North Jersey’s most noted chefs, he had a marvelous gift not only for storytelling, but cooking. He enjoyed the Indian cuisine so much that he was eager to introduce it to the group of friends who often gathered in each other’s homes.

From him, we learned about the rich heritage of the Christian community that was part of the Church of the East in India, including those in full communion with the Catholic Church. We learned to appreciate the fine handicrafts and textiles he came home with enough to seek out Indian stores in the boroughs of New York. And we learned to savor Friday night Lenten dinners enhanced by sauces with yogurt (a relatively new sensation back then), flat breads and main dishes rich with curry, coriander, turmeric, chilies and cumin.

I never lost my taste for Indian food and was delighted when my family, based in Newark, Del., became so enchanted with it on their own that it became a mainstay of their menus.

This dish is but one example of an Indian recipe I’ve attempted over the years. It is so easy to put together that it’s almost shameful. It will bring one very tasty bit of the culinary heritage of the vast universal Church to the table this Lent.

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