The expatriate community in the city surely knows how to celebrate all the important festivals in their home away from home. Easter is yet another reason for them to get together with family and friends and upkeep traditional customs such as the famous egg hunt, after which they gather for an elaborate feast consisting of meat roasts, vegetable preparations, wine and sinful desserts.
Shannon Zirkle, a photographer and Communications Director at the American International School, explains what a typical Easter celebration would look like. “Typically for Easter back in the States, my family and I would go to church in the morning followed by an Easter egg hunt. My parents would hide eggs filled with chocolate or candies around the house and we kids would have to retrieve them.
Followed by this, we would usually have a potluck dinner with ham, chicken, mashed potatoes, devilled eggs and so on,” she says. This year, she will be celebrating the holiday with her husband Prabhakar’s grandparents, aunt and uncle. “We’re keeping it low-key so we’ll have high tea with our family and may gift some chocolate eggs to friends, who have children,” she shares.
Low-key dinners don’t seem to be Fiametta Maggio’s forte for on Sunday, she plans to host a dinner party of 20 to celebrate with her family. “Traditionally, my mother would never repeat one year’s menu the next time, so I too make something new every year. This time, most of the dishes will be Continental, such as canapé with mushroom and white sauce, prawn cocktails for which my fisherman has promised to give me the fresh catch, chicken liver pâte, pasta with zucchini and prawns, roast, mango salad, grilled vegetables and finally a homemade cake baked by a friend,” says the Italian, who has been residing in Chennai for the past 27 years.
Along with all this feasting comes fun, says Marion Natarajan, a science teacher in Ecole Franco-Indienne Sishya, a French international school co-located with the Sishya School in Adyar. A fun tradition her family follows is an egg game that originates from Sweden. She explains, “I am part French and part Swedish, so according to the latter’s culture, we hit the person sitting to our right at the dining table with a hard-boiled egg! Invariably, the shell will get broken on one side and if it doesn’t, then we repeat the process. Even after a third round if someone’s eggshell hasn’t cracked, then they have to break it open by hitting it on their forehead.” Like they say in Harry Potter, let the feast begin!
Add healthy touch to Easter eggs
Easter means lots of tasty chocolate eggs and rich food, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy healthy treats too. This hummus and egg appetizer is light, fluffy, packed with nutrition and is tasty — a delicacy that the family can enjoy.
1 tbsp salt
6 large eggs
1/3 cup yogurt
2 tsp mustard sauce
1 tsp white vinegar
3/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 cup fresh chives, finely chopped
- In a large saucepan, cover the eggs with water and bring to boil. Cover the saucepan, remove from the heat and let stand for 12 minutes. Drain the eggs and gently crack the shells. Add ice cubes to the pan and let the eggs rest until chilled.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, mustard sauce, vinegar, garam masala, red chilli powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Cut the eggs in half from tip to tip. With a small spoon, gently scoop out the yolks and add them to the bowl with the curry mixture. Set the egg whites aside.
- Mash the yolks into the filling with the back of a fork until smooth. Taste and season with additional salt and red chilli powder as desired.
- Scoop or pipe the curry mixture into the hollow egg whites. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, sprinkle with chives.