Calcutta Chicken Curry with Chickpeas

Today we are celebrating the feast day of the newly canonized Saint Teresa of Calcutta. She is also known as Mother Teresa. 

chicken curry

Mother Teresa said “By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.” The anniversary of  her death is also her feast day.

She was born on August 26, 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia. She was baptized Gonxha Agnes. She received her first communion at 5 and was confirmed in November of 1916.

Her father passed away when she was eight and it left her family with no means of financial support. Her love of religion was further influenced by the Jesuit Parish of the Sacret Heart of which she cherished so much.

At the age of eighteen, the call to do mission work became so strong she joined the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as the Sisters of Loreto in Ireland. It was in September 1928, she received the name Sister Mary Teresa after Saint Therese of Lisieux.

In December she departed for India and arrived in Calcutta in January of 1929. This is were she taught at Saint Mary’s School for girls.

In May 1937, then known as Sister Teresa, she made her final Profession of Vows and became a nun. As she put it, she became the Spouse of Jesus for all eternity.  From then on she was referred to as Mother Teresa. She still continued to teach at the school and in 1944 even became Principal.


In September 1945, through much prayer and devotion, Mother Teresa had a vision that Jesus wanted her to establish a religious community. It took several years of testing and discernment, but she received permission to begin The Missions of Charity. So on August 17, 1948 the Little Sisters of the Poor was established. After a few courses with the Medical Missions Sisters in Patna, she went into the slums for the first time December 21, 1948 to administer to the poor and the sick.

She started each day with Mass, then left with Rosary in hand to serve him and minister to the poorest of the poor.  Little sisters of the Poor began to flourish and in 1950 she began to send her sisters to other parts of India. The Decree of Praise granted to the Congregation by Pope Paul IV in February of 1965 encouraged her to open a house in Venezuela. Soon this led to other cities, in other continents.  They were running homes for people dying with HIV/AIDS, leprosy, tuberculosis, soup kitchens, orphanages and schools only to name a few.

She won many awards in her life time such as the Indian Padmashri award in 1962 and the Noble Peace Prize prize in 1979.

During the last few years of her life, even though she had health problems she continued to administer to the poor and sick. Upon her death on September 5, 1997, Mother Teresa’s  sisters numbered nearly 4,000 members. She established 610 foundations in 123 countries.

She was canonized September 4, 2016.

Today in honor of her feast day I have a recipe for Chicken Curry.

Do you have a special way to celebrate the feast days? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

Calcutta Chicken Curry with Chickpeas


4 garlic cloves
1 3 inch piece of ginger sliced
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon curry powder
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 chicken cut into 8 pieces
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
2 dried chiles de arbol
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
6 green cardamom pods
¼ teaspoon whole cloves
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 medium onions sliced
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
1 can chickpeas drained


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put the garlic, ginger, water and curry powder in a food process and turn it into a paste. Rub the paste all over the chicken pieces.

In a Dutch oven add the oil and brown the chicken pieces on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, dried chilies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, Cardamom pods and cloves. Cook stirring often until spices are fragrant and brown about 30 seconds. Add onions and cook until light brown. Add salt.

Add tomatoes and cook another 5 minutes. Add the chicken back to the pot and cook another 5 minutes.

Add coconut milk and chick peas. Transfer to oven and cook 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and tender.

Serve immediately.

Peace be with you,