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A taste of Myanmar

Burmese menu has delicious choices on offer for gourmets


COCONUTS AND chillies, like garlic and ginger, are an important part of the Burmese cuisine. The land of the pagodas, teak and jade indulges its people in an overdose of sesame and poppy seeds as well. Spicy you may think, but it actually isn't. Neither bland nor spicy, the cuisine offers delicious choices to those who like experimenting with their menu preferences. A dash of bamboo shoots and a handful of peanuts do the trick to accentuate the flavour.

Sweet corn curry

Ingredients

Sweet corn kernel - 750 Gms
Poppy seeds - 3 tbsp
Peanuts - 1 tbsp
Sesame seeds - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 4
Coconut (freshly grated) - 1 cup
Coconut milk - 5 cups
Oil - 3 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method: Grind poppy seeds, peanuts, and sesame seeds into a fine paste. Heat oil in a pan and fry the ground paste for five minutes. Add the boiled sweet corn kernels and the coconut milk. Cook on a slow flame till the gravy becomes thick. Add salt to taste. Garnish with green chillies and serve hot.

Prawn and bamboo curry

Ingredients

Bamboo (shredded) - 500 Gms
Prawns - 50 Gms
Brown onions - 4
Coconut grated (from which
2 extracts of milk have been removed) - 1
Onions - 2
Garlic - 8 cloves
Red chillies to taste
Turmeric - 1 pinch
Salt to taste
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Oil to fry

Method: Grind the onions, garlic, red chillies, turmeric and salt to a fine paste. Boil the shredded bamboo with a pinch of turmeric in a large pan of water and squeeze out every drop of water.

Golden fry four large sliced onions and set it aside. Fry the ground masala in oil for five minutes. Add the prawns and fry a little more. Then add the shredded bamboo, and fried onions, and after mixing well pour in the second extract of coconut milk. Cook on a quick fire stirring continuously. Add first extract of coconut milk and lemon juice just before serving. Give the curry a final quick fry up and serve immediately with boiled rice.

Tana (salad)

Ingredients

Ladies fingers - 200 Gms
French beans - 200 gms
Cabbage - 200 gms
Brinjals - 200 gms
Onions (sliced and crisp fried) - 250 gms
Garlic (fried crisp) - 100 gms
Sesame seeds - 2 tbsp
Vinegar - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

Method: Cut all the vegetables into medium size, dice, and boil them separately with a dash of vinegar. Crush fried onions and garlic with hand. Roast sesame seeds on a tawa. In a salad bowl, put all the boiled vegetables. Sprinkle crushed onions, garlic and sesame seeds. Toss the salad and serve cold.

Sanwin ma kin (dessert)

Ingredients

Semolina - 125 gms
Sugar - 250 Gms
Coconut (large) - 2
Eggs - 3
Almonds (sliced) - 2 tbsp
Poppy seeds (broiled) - 1 tbsp
Dalda - 2 tbsp

Method: Extract milk from the coconuts and add water to increase bulk to three quarters. Beat the eggs and sugar till they become fluffy.

Add semolina gradually and mix well. Pour in coconut milk and ghee. Place the mixture in a pan and cook till it becomes thick and well cooked. Place evenly in a baking pan, sprinkle almonds and poppy seeds on top and bake at 200 degrees Celsius till it gets a light brown colour.

The writer is Executive Chef in ITC Hotel Kakatiya Sheraton and Towers

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