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From the rice bowl

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COLOURFUL PLATTER Savour your meal
COLOURFUL PLATTER Savour your meal

Cook a meal like the Burmese do, with influences from India, Thailand and China

Tired of throwing an Italian dining do or a Tex-Mex party? Go eastern and dig deep into Burma’s rich and varied food heritage. Toss together vegetables and throw in a few spices from your kitchen shelf, bring out the long-grained rice and grate that milky white coconut and you have your fine dinner spread.

Vegetable balls

Ingredients

Mashed potatoes, grated: 1 cup

Onions finely chopped: 1/2 cup

Carrots, grated: 1/2 cup

Garlic cloves: 2-3

Mint leaves: 2 tbsp

Green chillies, finely chopped: 2-3

Plain flour: 1 cup

Baking powder: 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

Method

Mix the potatoes, onions, carrots, garlic, mint leaves, green chillies, plain flour and baking powder. Add water and knead well. Make small round balls and deep fry in hot oil. Serve hot with a spicy sauce.

Burmese Spaghetti

Ingredients

Boiled spaghetti: 3 cups

French beans, finely sliced: 12-14

Carrots, finely sliced: 2

Onions, finely sliced: 2

Capsicum, finely sliced: 1

Tomatoes, finely sliced: 2

Tomato ketchup: 6-8 tbsp

White vinegar: 1 tbsp

Green chillies, finely sliced: 2

Chilli flakes: 1 tsp

Melted butter: 4 tbsp

Salt to taste

For topping

Chopped spring onions with leaves: 3-4 tbsp

Method

Parboil French beans and carrots. Heat the butter. Add onions and capsicum. Stir fry for a few minutes.

Then add the French beans, carrots and tomatoes. Stir fry again. Then add the spaghetti, tomato ketchup, vinegar, green chillies, chilli flakes and salt. Mix well.

Cook on low flame for a few minutes. Top with chopped spring onions and serve hot.

Mushroom rice

Ingredients

Rice: 2 cups

Mushroom, finely chopped: 1 cup

Spring onions, finely chopped with leaves: 3-4

Garlic cloves, finely chopped: 2

Soya sauce: 2 tbsp

Oil: 1 tbsp

Salt to taste

Method

Soak the rice for two hours and cook it. Each grain should be separate. Heat the oil. Add the spring onions, mushrooms and garlic and stir fry for a few minutes. Then add the soya sauce and salt. Cook on a low flame for a few minutes. Then add rice. Toss gently.

Serve hot with Burmese curry.

Burmese vegetable curry

Ingredients

Mixed boiled vegetables (carrots, green peas and potatoes): 2 cups

Chopped onions: 1/2 cup

Coconut milk: 2 cups

Oil: 1 tbsp

Cinnamon: 1 piece

Cloves: 2

Green chillies, finely chopped: 3-4

A piece of ginger, grated

Salt to taste

Method

Heat the oil. Add cinnamon and cloves. Then add onions, chillies and ginger. Stir fry for a few minutes until cooked.

Then add coconut milk. Allow it to boil and add vegetables.

Simmer on a low flame until the mixture thickens.

Serve hot with rice.

SUJATA MALANI

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