Every so often I really miss Burma and the delicious variety of foods constantly available there. I spent 6 months or so in Shan State working for a beautiful hotel on the banks of Inle Lake in 1999 and got to know some of the foodways of the surrounding area as well. Kalaw isn’t so far from Inle lake and has a community of Gurkha’s from Nepal brought over by the British. They have such respect and care for their food. Kalaw’s downtown has many fantastic tea shops with their own delicacies. We could even get fresh milk from one of the tea-shops, a real rarity in Burma. When we dropped by in the morning they would be gently heating great batches of milk to make yogurt and other goodies with.
The video shows a good shot into their kitchen. Outside the tea shop a young lad makes samosas while a buddy rolls out the dough for the Burmese donut or Ei kya kwe.
Other treats can be found inside the market in the back corner where the food-stalls are. A busy Shan noodle stand has the best noodles (Shan Kauk Swe) with yellow Shan tofu or tofu chips. A neighboring stall prepares mashed fish and rice (nga htamin) – tastes much more delicious than it sounds, take my word for it.
Thin rice flour pancakes with butter beans and spring onions (yay mont) are another delight or the romantic traditional Burmese snack translated loosely as couples cakes are another option. If you have a sweet tooth the palm sugar soaked cookies are addictive.