Burma

Turmeric’s Got the Midas Touch

Golden Spice of a Golden Land

I developed a deep respect for turmeric the last time I was in Myanmar (Burma). Not paying close attention to where I was putting my feet, I had stumbled on a hole in the sidewalk while walking the streets of Yangon and sprained my ankle. Several Burmese friends advised me to paste my ankle with turmeric and water and wrap it up. It quickly reduced the inflammation and I was soon tripping down the streets again.

I began asking everyone I met about turmeric and marveled at the multitude of ailments that it is used for. Everyone agreed that turmeric was a good friend of women — for young women wishing to improve their complexion, regulate their menstruation and give them that virginal glow — but it was especially important for women right after childbirth.

Eating In Kalaw

Eating In Kalaw

Kalaw, a cool, former British hill-station in Shan State, Myanmar, rises 6,000 feet above sea level and is famous for its flowers and farmlands. It is now a gateway to a variety of interesting treks. A three day trek will take you through the mountains to mystical Inle Lake, through the village ...

Tenderly Tossed Burmese Salads

Tenderly Tossed Burmese Salads

One of my many favorite places to eat in Yangon is at an excellent Burmese fresh salad bar on the street right next to Sule Pagoda. It opens in the evenings as the parking spaces empty, spilling off the sidewalk and across the street. This place is famous in Myanmar for the best hand-tossed rice ...

VJR’s Seafood Masala

VJR’s Seafood Masala

VJR is a fabulous Burmese-Indian chef who makes tasty seafood samosas with this freshly made masala. Amounts given are not precise, feel free to adjust them according to your taste and needs. 1/2 c yellow or brown mustard seeds 1/4 c fenugreek 1 T cardamom Method: These spices can be ...

VJR’s Burmese Masala

VJR’s Burmese Masala

VJR the Burmese-Indian chef who taught me this recipe made the best samosas faster than anyone I have ever seen. This spice mix is used for mutton, pork, chicken, vegetables or beef and is not used with seafood. small handful cloves 1/2 c cumin 1-2 t hulled cardamom seeds small handful of ...

Shan BBQ Sauce

Shan BBQ Sauce

This is an all around favorite sauce. It is especially great for grilled meat, mushrooms and vegetables, but is also very nice for samosas and fried snacks. makes 1-2 cups of sauce 3-4 pods tamarind, or tamarind pulp, soaked in boiling water and passed through a sieve 1/2 lime's juice 1 b ...

Garlic – Turmeric Oil

Garlic – Turmeric Oil

This is really easy to make and handy to have in the kitchen. A mainstay in Burmese kitchens it results in two great additions for salads. Crispy golden fried garlic and garlic-turmeric infused oil. Method: Peel and slice thinly as much garlic as you would like to have available. I suggest 2 ...

Journey to Kalaw

Journey to Kalaw

It was still misty. The unexpected cyclone in the middle of the winter had caused havoc on the road up the mountains to Kalaw. Twenty miles outside of Kalaw the large air-conditioned bus with it's frozen passengers came to a halt. Christmas morning was fast approaching and my family was gather ...

HD 104 – Burmese Tomato Salad

HD 104 – Burmese Tomato Salad

Recipe here. This sophisticated hand-tossed salad is a signature Burmese dish. Not only is it simple, delicious and quick to prepare but it is also inexpensive. Dice it to create a tasty bruchetta topping. Add green chilis for extra kick. Go ahead! Try it! It is also very nourishing and a great ...

Burmese Red Lentil Soup

Burmese Red Lentil Soup

Serves 4 1 c red lentils 1 small onion, sliced 3-4 cloves garlic, sliced ½ t turmeric 1 T oil 4-5 c chicken broth or water salt or fish sauce to taste black pepper Method: Put ingredients in a pot and simmer until the lentils are very soft. If using fish sauce add the fis ...