Songkran is an annual three-day water festival which celebrates the Thai New Year with the ceremonial sprinkling of water. The Sanskrit word ‘Songkran’ translates as “passing”, and refers to transformation and change.
It falls from Friday 13 April to Sunday 15 April, and is an important fixture in the Buddhist calendar during which friends and family gather for food and festivities all over Thailand – culminating in a glorious country-wide water fight.
But if you fear you’re missing out on the fun this weekend here in the UK, fear not: there’s nothing to say you can’t mark the occasion with a feast of Thai cuisine, featuring a delicate balance of flavour from traditional Thai ingredients such as lime leaves, tamarind, shrimp paste, coconut, palm sugar and chillies.
To mark the occasion, Sanguan Parr (head chef at Nipa Thai at London’s Royal Lancaster hotel) shares her recipe below for massaman gai, a rich, mild recipe for yellow chicken curry from the southern region of Thailand – and we round up some of our other favourite Thai recipes from our columnists for further inspiration, too.
Massaman gaiSurprisingly simple to make but guaranteed to impress, Sanguan Parr’s massaman gai is the perfect dish for your Songkran celebrations.