On a beautiful day in Adelaide, where those Laughing Jackasses keep me company all day, laughing at my seriousness, and where Balasubramaniam sings Om Namah Sivaya for 1 hour and 15 seconds to calm jangled nerves, it is also a day of great thanksgiving. Thai Pongal, Hindu day of celebrating the harvest and its abundance, and giving thanks to all who provided for such bounty – the Sun, the Rain, the Cows, the Earth, and each other.
For Pongal, rice is a must – cooked sweet or savoury with mung dal and also called Pongal. It is cooked by the bucket load in many parts. Pongal is the South Indian name for kitchari.