Mother Teresa, the Roman Catholic nun who died in 1997, is most remembered for serving the poor across the world. She was unafraid to embrace the most destitute people all over India.
She used to say to them that prayer is something that permeates everything else and fills in all the “empty” spaces in people. For her, the day began and ended with prayer and scripture reciting. So did her meager meals.
She preached that we encounter Jesus in the Eucharist, in the brothers and sisters in our community, and both in poor and rich people we meet throughout the day. Every moment of life gives us a new opportunity to love Jesus Crist through loving our nearest and dearest.
She prayed certain rote prayers at specific times of the day. Many of those prayers sunk roots deep in the hearts of wretched and homeless people of India. The Memorare is one such prayer, which actually was a favorite prayer of Mother Teresa.
When facing difficult circumstances, she did not pray these prayers just once. No. She would offer an “express” novena or 9 Memorares in a row. And she always prayed a 10th Memorare in thanksgiving, confident that her prayers would be answered.
Let’s make this clear: Prayer is not magic! No, not at all. Rather, the prayer is a relationship, a conversation with the human greatest friend in the universe.
Mother Teresa did not pray this express novena as a magic formula, but she prayed it from the bottom of her heart knowing that God would act. This repetitive prayer was a tangible expression of her great faith in God.
We can learn from Mother Teresa, and we can be edified and encouraged by her simple, yet great faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. She can help us to grow in faith. That is why we shared these lines with you…
Mother Teresa lived a very simple, ascetic life. Her little body with a great soul was mostly fueled by true prayers to God and Mother Mary. She practically fed herself on the ‘spiritual food’ of the prayers and her deep-hearted faith.
This ‘openness’ to God was her greatest source of energy that led her safe and sound through all turmoil and perils of life in hot and crowded India. Her everyday ‘workplace’ was the dusty and dirty streets where she was most needed to help and encourage.
So was her diet – she was always on the move and fed herself on what is known as ‘street cuisine’ in India. Here below are some of Mother Teresa’s favorite street dishes:
1. Dahi Vada
Dahi Vada can just as easily be a main dish on a hot day as it can be the perfect accompaniment to other meat or fresh vegetable dishes (which are available in India in a dazzling array). You can also eat it as a snack, just like Mother Teresa did.
Dahi Vada is North Indian in origin, and it can easily be a ‘side dish’ to the main dish on a special occasion. It may look tricky to make, but in fact it is not, and the effort put into preparing it is worth the delicious result.
2. Dahi Sev Batata Puri
The Sev Batata Puri meal is a hugely popular Indian ‘street food.’ It is a great, easy to make snack when you are feeling munchy. Even modern India has a huge street food culture and every city, big or small, is home to street vendors churning out delicious, inexpensive food at little roadside stalls.
The Chaat is a popular street side food. It is not only the name of a delicious dish, but also the generic name used to refer to a group of savory, spicy, tangy, sweet street foods. Exactly, the Sev Batata Puri (from Maharashtra in western India) is a great example of a Chaat meal.
Like all other Chaat, if you have a few basic ingredients ready (you can make them ahead of time and store), you can make it in no time! The Puris for Sev Batata Puri can be bought at any good Indian food store. Sev Batata Puri can also be made with Papdi as the base (also available in all good Indian food stores).
3. Mutter Paneer – The popular Indian curry of peas and cheese
Mutter (meaning peas) Paneer (a semi-solid form of cottage cheese) is probably the most frequently ordered vegetarian dish in Indian restaurants. The mild flavors of the paneer (cottage cheese) and peas in it, “marry” beautifully with the delicious tomato-based sauce of this curry.
Mutter Paneer is a great side dish in a non-vegetarian meal, but also the perfect main dish in a vegetarian one. It is usually served with Chapati, Paratha or Naan, or even on a bed of plain boiled Basmati rice. Yet, it is basically made and serve in Indian homes since it is a sure “crowd pleaser.”
Mild and versatile paneer and peas go perfectly with the sauce of this delicious curry. Today, Mutter Paneer is hugely popular on Indian restaurant menus all over the world.
4. Khasta Kachori – Raj Kachori (crispy savory lentil-filled pastry)
It is a delectable, filling Indian dish. Khasta means ‘crispy’ in Hindi. Delicious Khasta Kachori is a popular snack in Northern and Central India. One bite and you will see why. This popular North Indian snack can be found at most Indian cafés.
They make it as a batch and keep it in air-tight containers for up to a week. It is reheat able in oven and ready to snack on anytime throughout a busy day!
5. Tomato curry
Rice and bread (or at least one of them) are included with almost every Indian meal. Of South Indian origin, tangy tomato rice makes a great one-dish meal. It is served with poppadums. They say it was a staple food for the fragile nun Mother Teresa.
7. Indian potato salad with seasoned yogurt dressing
In the Indian cuisine, side dishes are almost as important as the main dish, and there is often more than one side dish in a meal. From relishes to salads and pickles to chutneys and raitas, there is a huge variety of delicious items one can choose to augment their main dish. One such yummy side dish is Dahiwale Aaloo.
In fact, Dahiwale Aaloo is a tasty Indian take on western potato salad. It is a potato salad with a seasoned Indian yogurt dressing. The best results – a creamy salad – is ideally made when the yogurt is “hung” for at least an hour in a muslin cloth, so as to drain all the liquid from it, and make it thicker and creamier.
Though, people who were in a rush could only expect their salad to have a more sauce-like dressing, rather than one where the yogurt has thickly coated the potatoes.
8. Egg curry
Since eggs are usually a staple in the Indian pantry, it is also convenient to cook it. There are several different styles for making egg curry, with different Indian regions cooking it differently. This recipe is North Indian in origin.
The gravy for egg curry can be made ahead of time and frozen. Then when one is ready to eat it, he/she boils the eggs, thaws and heats the gravy through, adds the eggs and it is good to go.
Egg curry is a family favorited too as it can be made as mild as one likes it [or as ‘hot’ as one likes it] by adjusting the spices to suit personal needs. In India, the egg curry is usually served with a vegetable side dish and rice.
Mishti Doi is synonymous with Bengal in East India. It tastes great and it is amazingly simple and quick to prepare. The Bengalis are famous for their sweet preparations and Mishti Doi is among their most well-known desserts.
It takes only 1 liter of full cream/ whole milk, 3-4 tbsps. yogurt and 250 grams of sugar to make it. It certainly makes a sweet, replenishing cup for a day full of bitterness.
10. Payesh/ Kheer (rice pudding)
This creamy rice pudding is delicately flavored with cardamom and full of nuts. It’s a great dessert for anytime of the year. In South and East India versions of it are made for certain festivals. In the South, Kheer is called Payasam, and in the east it is known as Payesh.
Finally, we want to remind you of one of Mother Teresa’s most famous maxims:
“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”
Here, we can only add that Mother Teresa certainly devoted all her life, stamina and resources to quench this ongoing ‘thirst for love.’ You will agree that it was exactly this unselfish devotion which created the aura of holiness around her existence and work!
SHARE IT PLEASE IN HONOR OF THE BEATIFIED MOTHER TERESA