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Season 3 Episode 3 - Papakura

This week musician Milan Borich, shows us around the place he grew up – Papakura. Once a sleepy rural town, these days the population is estimated to be growing at ten times the rate of New Zealand as a whole – and it’s an increasingly diverse community.

In this episode,we’ll meet a young Samoan woman who’s found inspiration for her latest art work in her Papakura home, join the Thaipusam celebrations at the local temple, hit the streets with an Indian lawyer who’s made it his mission to help local business people living in fear of crime and see Dutch history through the lens of a local man’s camera.


Curator Bio: Milan Borich

Aged 12, Milan Borich was chosen from almost 400 children to star in TV series The Champion, as a boy whose family billets a WW2 American soldier. Since then, alongside occasional acting roles, he has concentrated on music, recording three albums with Auckland rockers Pluto. In 2011 he cameo-ed and sang in the Kiwi version of Underbelly.

Milan grew up on a farm about 3 ks from Papakura’s town centre. Although farmland is giving way to new housing developments throughout the area, the farm is still much as he remembers it– scene of a hundred boyhood adventures - hunting, fishing, dragging nets for flounder. A classic kiwi upbringing with a Croatian twist!


This week's recipe

This week on Neighbourhood, Siva Sri Chandru Kurukkal, chief priest at the Sri Ganesh Temple in Papakura, prepares a special dish which is offered to deities during the celebration of the Hindu festival Thaipusam. The dish is also eaten at home on special occasions.



Prep time: 1 hour
Serves: 4-6


  • 1 and 1/2 cups rice
  • 1/2 cup split yellow moong dal
  • 2 cups Jaggery
  • 2 and 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 Tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup Ghee
  • 4 Tbsp raisins
  • Handfull of cashew nuts


1. Soak the rice in three cups of water for half an hour.

2. Dry roast the moong dal lightly until it becomes fragrant.

3. Combine the milk with one cup of water and bring to the boil in a thick-bottomed pan.

4. Drain the rice. Add the rice and dal to the boiling milk. Bring back to a boil again, stirring continuously.

5. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for fifteen minutes or until the rice and dal are completely cooked.

6. Add the jaggery, continuing to stir to ensure the mixture does not stick to the bottom and cook until all the jaggery has completely dissolved and been thoroughly incorporated into the rice and dal mixture.

7. Add half the quantity of ghee and continue cooking on low heat for about five minutes, stirring frequently.

8. Heat the remaining ghee in a separate pan, add the raisins and cashew nuts and stir well.

9 Add this to cooked pongal, along with the ground cardamom.


Stir well and serve hot.