Flavours of Burma

Flavours of Burma

By Sheela Sheth, Food Expert

Burmese cuisine is an amalgamation of Asian influence using flavourful exotic greens and vegetables to cater to a vegetarian like me. The sauces are a blend of herbs, spices, tamarind, nuts, soybean paste and sometimes fish or shrimps laced with chilli, oil and rice wine. Here are a couple of my favourite recipes from my travels to this beautiful country.

Fermented Tealeaf Salad


1 head of romaine lettuce, sliced

¼ cup split peas, fried

¼ cup roasted peanuts

¼ cup sunflower seeds

1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

1 tomato

1 jalapeno pepper

Lime slices for decoration

Salt to taste

For the dressing

½ cup fermented tea leaves

1 tbsp of olive oil

2 tsp shrimp powder (optional)

2 tsp fish sauce

1 clove garlic

½ tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tbsp of lime juice

Salt to taste


1. Place a bed of lettuce in the centre of a platter

2. Spoon the tea leaf dressing in the centre of the lettuce

3. Place all the other ingredients around the lettuce on the platter, garnish with a few slices of lime

Mohinga Veggie Soup


1 cup purple yam, peeled and cubed, then fried or baked

2 medium onions, quartered

3 garlic cloves

4 tbsp roasted rice (rice can be roasted in a dry pan or sauteed with butter and a little flavouring)

3 cups of vegetable stock

¼ cup raw peanuts

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 cups boiled rice noodles

½ tsp turmeric powder

8 shallots, peeled

1 onion, diced

1 tbsp peanut oil

Paprika to taste


1. Crush onion, garlic and ginger into a coarse paste

2. In a large saucepan, fry the onions and add the ground rice paste and water

3. Continue to stir, adding the peanuts and shallots

4. Let the soup simmer and add the yams

5. Serve with boiled rice noodles garnished with coriander and a piece of lemon

Khow Suey


6 baby corn, diced

2 medium carrots sliced

½ cup cauliflower florets

½ cup broccoli florets

½ sliced red pepper

1 medium yellow zucchini sliced

1 medium onion chopped

6 french beans cut diagonally

2 tbsp ginger-garlic finely chopped

5cm lemongrass stalk

½ tsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp gram flour

1 cup coconut milk

1⁄3 cup crushed peanuts

1 cup glass noodles

1 tsp chilli oil

Red chilli flakes and lemon juice to taste

Fresh coriander for garnish


1. Boil water and add noodles to boil. Drain and keep aside

2. Grind onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and turmeric into a fine paste

3. Heat oil in a pan and sauté the ground paste

4. Add the gram powder and let it roast for two minutes

5. Add coconut milk and two cups of water. Mix well

6. In a separate pan, stir-fry all the vegetables and add to the stew

7. Place boiled noodles in a serving bowl and pour the stew over them

8. Garnish with crushed peanuts, chilli flakes and fresh coriander

9. Serve hot with a piece of fresh lime