Today (or rather, tomorrow) is Thai Pongal festival celebrated by Tamils around the world. It is a harvest festival celebrated at the end of the harvest season in the tenth month (தை, Thai) of the Tamil calendar and is a festival offering thanks for a bountiful harvest (pongal, which also refers to the sweet rice dish made on that day) and for a prosperous year to come. In Sri Lanka, it is usually celebrated for a day whereas in India, it is a 3 or 4 day festival with a day celebrating the hard work of the cattle in the fields the previous year.
I am re-sharing the pongal recipe that I posted last year.
One of my close friends and her family visited me last week which brought back pleasant memories from over a decade ago when I had first met her. So, for today’s music, I would like to feature the songs of a musician from her country that she introduced me to.
The first song is one of Dulce Pontes’ famous songs – Canção do Mar from her album (Lagrimas or Tears, 1993). This song was covered a decade later by Sarah Brightman.
Dulce Pontes contributed to the popular revival of Portuguese folk, Fado, in the 90s. The second song is one such song.
- Rice – 1 cup
- Roasted split gram (without skin) – ¼ cup
- Jaggery – 1 cup (grated)
- Coconut – ½
- Cardamom – 4 or 5, crushed
- Cashew nuts – few, chopped
- Raisins – 1 tbsp
- Wash the rice and gram and cook them in a pot with 2 ½ cups of water. Cook for around 15 to 20 mins, till the water dries up.
- Grind and extract coconut milk by blending the freshly scraped half of a coconut with 1 cup of water.
- Once the rice and gram is cooked, add the grated jaggery and mix.
- Then, add the coconut milk and crushed cardamoms. Bring to a boil on high heat and cook for a few more minutes before reducing the heat.
- Add the chopped cashew nuts. Cook until the pongal mixture starts coming together and starts to thicken.
- Just before removing from heat, add the raisins and mix.
- Remove from heat and cover.
- Serve pongal with bananas.
Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.