Pancake Tuesday: How Mumbai’s Catholic community feasts on pancakes before Lent

City-based home chef Neysha Pereira remembers helping her mother make the pancakes for Pancake Tuesday in their Marine Lines home ever since she was 10 years old. It started by grating the coconut and making the filling with jaggery a day prior before the pancake was rolled because it is best eaten fresh. She explains, “If there are no pancakes for the day, we would be really sad and feel like we missed out on something.” Unsurprisingly, Pereira’s mother learned to make the pancakes from her mother and now it has become a family ritual.  

The 47-year-old Malad resident explains, “Being the eldest daughter in the family, I was expected to help with making the filling for the pancakes. It has been a tradition in my family and we have always been making pancakes for Pancake Tuesday.” Pereira boasts that the taste has been passed down over generations in the Goan family. While she earlier made pancakes for the family only, the Orlem local switched to making them commercially three years ago for all those who would like to eat it. 

For the uninitiated, Pancake Tuesday is celebrated every year the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of the season of Lent, for the Catholic community, which observes it by fasting and prayer. While the focus is on the religious aspect in preparation for Easter, the cultural aspect means that every other Catholic home in the city is busy feasting on pancakes for breakfast or tea on the day. There are quite a few theories about why pancakes are eaten on the day but the most popular version is that the community doesn’t eat eggs and fasts till Easter and makes pancakes in an attempt to use up eggs.  

Making pancakes

Unlike the popular fluffy Western pancakes found everywhere in the city, these are more like lightly pan-fried pancakes (which look like crepes). They are made using an all-flour batter with or without egg and then filled with a traditional mixture of coconut and jaggery or sugar by different sections of the community. The traditional approach is also the same process that was followed by Pereira’s grandmother. However, over the years, her mother started adding nuts to the mixture and now the 47-year-old has taken the liberty of adding other ingredients too. She explains, “Last year on an experimental basis, I added roasted sesame seeds to the mixture and colour and many people really liked it. The seeds add a nice crunch and flavour to it.” Pereira is converting this very passion to make seasonal dishes to earn for her family, after her husband passed away in 2021. For today, she has already got orders for 150 pancakes.

In Bandra, Melitta Fernandes is juggling work and her passion for cooking by making pancakes with the help of her daughter. Unlike Pereira’s Goan preparation, Carter Road-based Fernandes says, “Since I am an East Indian, we use sugar instead of black jaggery for the preparation.” Like most people, making the pancakes has been a family ritual for her as she helped her mother prepare them while she was growing up. “It is a tradition and we loved making and eating pancakes at home and since I love making sweets and any cakes, I continue to make them,” adds Fernandes, who has started preparing the pancakes this morning. In fact, she has even taken a holiday from work so that she can cater to people who love eating pancakes today. 

The 51-year-old sells them under the brand ‘Tremel’s’, which was started by her daughter six years ago. Ever since she has been taking orders from neighbours, Fernandes has been regularly cooking for people and this time around, she has received orders for as many as nine dozen pancakes.

Hendricks says, “Since most people in my family have diabetes, my grandmother preferred using jaggery over sugar for the pancakes and that is the way I have continued making it.” Image credit: Meghan Hendricks

Like Pereira, Meghan Hendricks, another Orlem resident, is busy making pancakes for the day. While she took over from her mother due to her love for cooking 10 years ago, she started taking orders only three years ago after she started Hendricks Fiesta, her home chef brand. Hendricks, like many other Catholic families in the city, has fond memories of eating the pancakes as a child. She explains, “The earliest I remember eating pancakes was from when I was a kid and my granny would always make colourful pancakes for Pancake Tuesday. Since we make the pancakes using eggs, flour, milk and butter, the idea is to basically use up these supplies before Lent.”

Even though Hendricks is an East Indian, she doesn’t make it like others in the community. “Since most people in my family have diabetes, my grandmother preferred using jaggery over sugar for the pancakes and that is the way I have continued making it,” she explains. While the outer batter is made using flour, eggs, milk and butter to make the pancake, the mixture is made of grated coconut, jaggery and nuts, adds Hendricks. While the Malad local hasn’t received as many orders as she would have liked due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is now going to stop her from feasting on the pancakes, like Pereira and Fernandes, with family and friends today. 

If you wish to order pancakes, here are some places you can order from: 

Pancake Tuesday special (Available for delivery from Andheri to Borivali)

Neysha Pereira – 98202 80767 
For 6 pcs – Rs 175 and 12 pcs for Rs 375 

Tremel’s Pancake Tuesday Special

Melitta Fernandes – 99308 91880/98205 13078
For 12 pcs – Rs 300 (pickup from home)

Hendricks Fiesta

Meghan Hendricks – 82918 37707
For 6 pcs – Rs 180 plus delivery charge 

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Bulletin Reporter is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More