Santa Maria Photo Essay

Perth’s Santa Maria College was established by the Sisters of Mercy in 1938.
It’s a Catholic Day and Boarding School for girls, Year 8-12.

outside santa maria:

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sharing a cookery class with staff from the Food and Textiles Department.

Here’s the crew:

the ladies of santa maria:

Pre-lunch nibbles of our home-made chili panir was well-received.

fried-panir munchies:

Lunch was delightful (see menu, blog entry below).


And a work of art!

up close and personal:

Santa Maria

I’m teaching the teachers today at Perth’s Santa Maria College. They requested an Asian Banquet. Here’s our menu:

curry puffs:

Asian Banquet

Bengali Fruit & Nut-studded Wedding Rice (Pushpanna)

Creamed Spinach with Fresh Curd Cheese (Palak Panir)

Paratha Breads

Malaysian Curry Puffs (pictured, above)

Fresh Mango Chutney

Indonesian Fruit Platter with Hot and Sweet Dipping Sauce (Rujak Manis)

I’ll bring along my trusty camera and try for a photo essay tomorrow.

The Final Check List


“A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean question: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well – or ill?”

John Steinbeck, 1902-1968

“Bhajana kara sadhana kara, matte janle haya”
Translation: “Whatever you do for perfection will be tested at the time of your death.” Bengali proverb.

Strawberry Cream Shortcake

My strawberry plants are fruiting! Yesterday I picked a small bowl full and made this strawberry shortcake recipe. It truly is incredible!


Strawberry Cream Shortcake

This cake is actually somewhere between a shortcake and a sponge. It

Feast at Bull Creek

My one-day Challenger TAFE cookery workshop at All Saints’ College on Saturday was a resounding success. The suburb was Bull Creek, an evocative title for a place that no longer has a creek of much significance, nor bulls, but obviously harks to an earlier era.

Here’s our team:

the team at Challenger:

Brett and Melanie (below) are eager vegetarian husband and wife chefs:

Brett: Melanie does Falafel:

Maurice (below, with wife Lee-Anne) is a full-time restaurant owner and chef, and we shared a lot in common with our passion for cooking.

with Maurice and Lee-Anne:

Our yogurt cheese was made from hanging 2 kilos of Greek-style yogurt in a cloth overnight to drain off excess whey. The result was the magnificent basis for our dessert, ready to be sweetened and folded with saffron, cardamom, rosewater and pistachios. Lyn and Ines (left and right, below) are painstakingly removing aromatic cardamom seeds from their pods.

yogurt cheese:

“A meal is not complete without a sweet’ someone said.

talking about dessert:

Some of the fruits of our hard labour:

Hoummos, Falafel, Pita and Salad:

panir steaks on sweet potato mash and rocket salad:

This was my last TAFE class of the season, but there’s plenty more events up my culinary sleeves. See Kurma’s Cooking Classes & Workshops, Australia and the World 2006

Taking up the Challenge

Off to Bull Creek this morning to teach a one-day cookery workshop at Challenger TAFE (Tertiary and Further Education).

challenger TAFE:

Here’s our menu:

Vegetarian World Food

Fragrant South Indian Toor Dal Soup (Rasam) Served with Steamed Basmati Rice

Sweet Chili Panir Steaks with Sweet Potato Mash & Rocket Salad

BBQ Asparagus with Semi-dried Tomato & Macadamia Chutney

Israeli Chickpea Croquettes (Falafel)

Chickpea and Sesame Paste Dip (Hummus bi Tahina)

Greek-style Eggplant Casserole (Moussaka)

Creamy Cardamom-infused Condensed Yogurt Dessert with Pistachios and Saffron Syrup (Shrikhand)

I’ll keep you posted.


A number of astute readers have reminded me that the picture (below) of me being arrested in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall was in fact 1978, and not 1972. All those police bashings must have affected my memory. Seriously though, my arrest in 1972, and my final brush with the law in 1979, led to three different sojourns in Pentridge, though all for the same reason.

The graphic photo of my arrest was snapped by an Age photographer who just happened to be passing.

The Melbourne City Council’s seven-year vendetta was draconian and harsh, but after many skirmishes with the law, the Hare Krishna’s were finally allowed to merrily chant and dance on the street without further harassment. Mine and other jail sentences only help turn the public’s perception in our favour.

The Hare Krishna devotees first attracted undue local council and Police scrutiny in Sydney in early 1972. Here’s an account of one of the earliest police ‘stings’, narrated in chapter five of my history of the Hare Krishnas in Australia called “The Great Transcendental Adventure”.

29 APRIL 1972

“It was nine o