Burmese Mont Lin Ma Yar

moanlinmayarI recently had a wonderful interaction with a Burmese food lover over a photo I had posted on facebook of the famous Burmese Mont Lin Ma Yar. These delicious street corner snacks are a real treat, I wish I could get them on the corner downtown Vancouver, BC! She kindly translated the recipe for me from her favorite Burmese recipe site and so I am posting it here for future reference:

From the Myanmar Cupid Cookbook by Pyo Pyo May
Translated by Naomi Aung. Amounts are variable, test it out to see how thick you need the mixture.

  • Mix rice flour with water.
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch MSG*
  • Pinch sugar
  • A teaspoon of baking soda
  • Chopped tips of green onions
  • Freshly pounded ginger, not too much.

Mix rice flour, water, sugar, baking soda, salt, ginger and green onions. Test by putting a bit of mixture on the hot pan, when cooked, if it is too soft, it has too much water, so add some more rice powder. Leave the mixture, covered for 1 to 2 hours. Heat the pan, add oil and add the mixture, add a quail egg or a couple boiled butter-beans (pe-pyote). When the bottom is crispy, turn it and let cook a couple more minutes. When cooked, place one on top of another one and eat them as a pair.

Naomi Aung’s side-note: Pyo Pyo May mentioned a spoonful but not what kind of spoon. Make your own judgment for amount of rice powder. Burmese street hawkers do not use recipes but know how thick or thin they need their mix, therefore it is difficult to give exact amounts and it is best to experiment a little to discover how you prefer to cook. These street chefs are true experts and very skilled in creating various lovely snacks.

*Although many Burmese now love MSG and often swear by it, it was only introduced to Myanmar during World War II when the Japanese over-ran the country and gained a foothold at that time. I encourage you to omit this ingredient as it is actually a neuro-toxin.

This translation comes from the Cupid Cookbook by Pyo Pyo May. The Thais also make a similar snack and there is a recipe posted here with a video demonstration.

There was also a discussion of the special pan that is used to make these treats and where you can by them on the facebook page where the photo is posted.

It is my understanding that this special Burmese snack is called Mont Lin Ma Yar (husband and wife snacks) and is a special food for couples because when the snack is served two of these mini pancakes are placed together and eaten together, like an intertwined and romantically involved couple who never want to be apart. Please correct me if I am wrong about this!

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Thet

    I am going to make this and see how it turns out.

  2. naomi

    This is the actual recipe I had with my friend last month…she made for me when I visited her:

    KKW Rice flour 1c : water 2 cups
    Add chopped green onion, a little salt, and MSG…MSG makes the taste different. It is personal preference.

    Pour the mixture into “well oiled” pan in high heat until half full.

    Add boiled butter beans (chickpeas) and quail eggs (one egg per pan).

    When cooked, sprinkle with toasted smashed sesame seeds. (You will need to smash the seeds to get full flavor…if you don’t have motor and pestal or food processor, you can use zip lock bag with a can to smash the seeds.)

    Flip over one into another to get “couple”.

    It is very important that you will need to keep brushing oil into the pan so it doesn’t stick. I can’t say it’s healthy food as you will need a lot of oil and MSG to get taste good. But having enjoyable snacks with a good friend of 15 years is priceless!

    Let me know if you want picture…I took a couple pics while she was making for me.

    This is recipe for boiled butter beans (chick peas?) from a family friend who made me breakfast when I visited him:

    by U Kyaw Than
    Soak overnight for 3 cups of butter beans (or chickpeas) (SWAD brand, Vatana White/white peas, product of Canada…you can get in most Asian/Latin grocery in US) in rice-cooker-cup, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

    Drain peas in the morning, boil them in low heat with only a little bit of water and keep them all evaporated, must cook 20 minutes. If not cooked well by then, increase the heat. Leave it on stove with heat off for about 15 min with the lid on.

    I forgot to mention that there are similar snacks in Thailand (Thai Coconut Pudding, “Khanom Krok”) and Japan but I don’t know the exact name in Japanese. This is the link for “Khanom Krok” and you can see video clip of actual street vendor in Thailand at the bottom of the page:

    1. hellaD

      Wow fantastic Naomi, thanks so much for sharing the recipe. This sounds so delicious. I can’t use MSG as it really messes up my brain and is a neurotoxin, but as soon as we are off the GAPS diet I will try to make this again. I would love to see photos!

  3. Lin

    I love your site! Your love for burmese food really shows. Mont-lin-ma-yar is my favourite street food. I think you are missing the main ingredient here. It’s the steamed burmese bean “pae pyote” (sorry i dont know the english name, the extact type of bean is really hard to find in the west anyway) OR you can use QUAIL EGG. Luxury Mont Lin Ma Yar if you like.. LOL. As qail egg is quite expensive, peopel tend to put it in one of the couple only :). No need to use MSG at all. Instead sprinkle tosted sesame seeds and sea salt (and then grounded in pestle and mortar) on the finished Mont-lin-ma-yars to enhance the taste.

    1. hellaD

      Wow thanks for these great tips! So yummy with the sesame seeds and sea salt!

      Yum yum yum…!

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