An Introduction to Myanmar Cuisine by Ma Thanegi
I had a great opportunity to meet Ma Thanegi, the amazing lady who authored this book, while in Myanmar (Burma). She is full of the spirit of adventure and has had some amazing experiences in her travels that she shares with vibrant energy. She has also written other books and articles that are also definitely worth reading.
This cookbook is the best I have come across so far about Burmese food. It focuses mainly on the food of the Bama people and not the other ethnic groups around the country. It lists the main ingredients used in Burmese food and describes how to use them, and it teaches you clearly how to make a wide variety of Burmese dishes. Absolutely fantastic book and worth every penny. I highly recommend it.
The following is from her introduction, which she has given me permission to post, and really shows the spirit of Burmese hospitality:
In Myanmar, to be Ei Wuk Kyay which means to be hospitable, is the criterion of perfect social behavior. Our food culture is based on sharing: with monks to whom many of the Buddhist Myanmar offer food on a daily basis and on special occasions called Soon Kyway and sharing lunchboxes among school friends or colleagues at work. Food and drink are offered free on special religious days in a ritual known as du Di Thar. Travelers stopping by a village would be welcomed to share a meal at the monastery if not at someone’s house. It gives not only joy but great merit to feed others with a generous heart, and this Buddhist concept rules the social life of the people.