3 Easter recipes from across India that make the 40 days of fasting worth it
You can have your Easter eggs and eat them too
In the festival popularity stakes, Christmas definitely benefitted from better PR. Still, Easter is arguably the more important of the two major events in the Christian calendar, preceded by a 40-day fast called Lent during which the famously omnivorous community makes a temporary treaty with vegetarianism.
It may lack the shiny bells and gilt whistles of its year-ender cousin, but don’t underestimate what magic a restricted diet can do for Easter recipes.
After over a month of simplicity, the dining table creaks under the weight of roast chicken with stuffing, piquant fish curries, coma-inducing pork vindaloo and a salad that’s trying valiantly to rep the entire chlorophyll community.
Curious about the Easter recipes that some of the country’s best chefs treasure? We asked them to dish out family secrets that can give your Sunday lunch the glow-up it deserves. Just don’t stop to count the calories…
Easter recipes from India
Fish curry by Chef Floyd Cardoz
In March 2020, the culinary world lost a visionary to Covid-19. The lack of elbow room in Cardoz’s Mumbai restaurants was an indicator that his revival of hyper-local Indian dishes and experiments with indigenous produce had hit the mark.
This curry, named for his mother Beryl, doesn’t need to be restricted to the realm of Easter recipes. Feel free to seek comfort in his soul food whenever you need a hit of Goan sunshine on a plate.
- 1 kg silver pomfret or black pomfret darnes
- ½ cup grated fresh coconut
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 16 pcs medium-sized Kashmiri red chillies, de-stemmed
- ¼ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 300 ml water to blend the paste
- 500 ml water to cook the paste
- 800 ml coconut milk
- 2 tbsp tamarind paste
- 6 pcs dried raw mango
- 8 pcs tirphal
- 6 pieces spicy green chillies, slit
- Salt to taste
- Cut the fish into darnes, pat dry. Refrigerate and reserve for later.
- In a blender or masala grinder, combine grated coconut, chopped onions, garlic, red chillies, cumin seeds and turmeric powder. Grind to a smooth paste with 300 ml water and 1 tsp salt.
- In a large sauce pot, add the blended spice paste with 500 ml of water and simmer on a low flame. Stir occasionally.
- Reduce by half, strain the liquid through a fine soup strainer, pressing solids through into a medium sauce pan.
- Add in the green slit chillies, tirphal, coconut milk, raw mango and tamarind, bring up to a simmer on a medium heat. Cook for 10 mins. Stir occasionally
- Season with salt.
- When ready to serve, reheat the curry on low heat. Take out the fish darnes 30 mins prior and bring to room temperature. Season the fish with salt on both sides.
- Poach the fish gently in the curry for approximately six-eight mins. Serve with boiled red rice.
Idukki Pork Curry by Chef Sara Jacob Nair
Nair likens Lent to “torture” because as a child, she “had to abstain from non-vegetarian food and I hated this deprivation. But today, I look at it as my parents’ ways of instilling of discipline, mindfulness and building gratitude.”
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp aniseed
- 1 full pod garlic, crushed
- 2 inch ginger piece, crushed
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 1/3 rd of a coconut, sliced thin to 1 inch length
- 4 sprigs curry leaves
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 3 tbsp coriander powder
- 3 tbsp meat masala
- 2 tbsp red chilli powder
- 2 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 2 tbsp pepper powder (not too fine)
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 2 kg pork
- 2 tsp vinegar
- Coconut oil
- Heat the oil in a pressure cooker and temper it with mustard, curry leaves and aniseed. Once the mustard splutters, add sliced coconut and turmeric.
- Add crushed ginger, garlic and sliced onions till brown. Lower the flame and add the dry powders one by one.
- Once the masala is roasted, add pork and fry till evenly coated.
- Add a cup of water and the vinegar. Add more curry leaves, set the cooker for one whistle and reduce the flame to low for another 12-15 minutes, depending upon the pork.
This curry doesn’t have too much gravy and is best eaten with kappa, appam or porotta.
Easter eggs by Chef Rachel Goenka
Defying the laws of nature to bring you colourful marzipan and chocolate eggs, the Easter bunny is the guest of honour at most homes with kids.
While Goenka’s putting a modern spin on the family’s Easter recipes this year — “my mum’s not with us as she’s in Goa so my sister and I are making chocolate eggs instead” — she shared the recipe of the original marzipan delicacy handed down by her grandmother.
- 250 gm almonds
- 250 gm sugar
- 200 gm icing sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp rose water for grinding
- 1/4 tsp almond essence
For the royal icing:
- Egg whites
- Vanilla extract
For marzipan Easter eggs:
- Grind almonds with egg whites and rose water into a smooth paste. Transfer the paste into a heavy bottomed pan and add the sugar.
- Cook on low heat, stirring until the mixture forms a ball. Divide into 10 even sized balls and mould into egg shapes.
- Decorate with royal icing.
For royal icing:
- In a large bowl, combine the egg whites and vanilla, beat until frothy.
- Add sugar gradually and mix on low speed until mixture is shiny.
- Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately five-seven minutes. Add food colouring, if desired.