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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Water Festival

Got many things lining up for the next post but just haven't had the time to do the introduction story for each one of them. And the reason is during Songkran Festival I was spending my holiday at the beach resort.

Songkran Festival that falls each year on 13 - 15 April is a Thai New Year celebration and to most, it is also well known as "Water Festival". During this time we venture out onto the streets and get ready to be wet of water-throwing ranging from a polite splash to harmless water pistols and showers from garden hoses or water buckets. It is a refreshing tradition to beat the heat during this hottest season of the year. But there is a deeper meaning to Songkran than just fun and water.

"Songkran" derives from Sanskrit language, meaning "move into". Influenced by the ancient Hindu astrological calendar, "Songkran" refers to the orbit of the Sun moving from Pisces to Aries - the beginning of a new solar year. Besides marking this new beginning, Songkran is a time for thanksgiving. Thai people show their gratitudes towards the elders and those who have bestowed kindness and thoughtfulness to them in the past year. They make merits and organize family reunion. And most important of all, Songkran is the time for cleansing and purification - to expel all bad lucks, ills and evils, and to start the new year with all that is new, good, and pure.

Well, as you might have guessed... nothing much was done in my holiday except of course eat, rest, sit by the beach, and eat, and eat again! But of course since it is a special water festival, on top of everything else, I played water... lots of it...

As it is the Thai celebration, let's have thai food then....

Serves 2 persons

- Vegetable oil > 2 tablespoons
- Green curry paste > 3 tablespoons
- Coconut milk > 1.5 cups
- Red chilly - slice > 1
- Raw and sour green mango - peel, cut into long matchsticks > 1/2
- Tomato - cut into quarter > 1
- Salt > 1/2 teaspoon
- Chicken - cut into moderate chunks > 50 grams
- Prawns - peel, devein, tail intact > 4
- Sweet Thai basil - pluck leaves from stalk > 1 stalk
- Dill - pluck leaves from stalk into small shreds > 1 stalk
- Boiled rice - 1.5 plates

- Prepare boiled rice.
- Preheat pan. Saute green curry paste in vegetable oil until fragrant.
- Pour coconut milk in and cook for a while. Fold in salt.
- Add tomatoes, chilly slices, chicken chunks and prawns.
- When prawns turn pink, put rice and stir until everything mixed well.
- Just before removing from stove, add mango sticks and sweet Thai basil leaves.
- Place on serving plate. Decorate with more basil and dill leaves.
- Serve hot.

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