Burmese Khow Swey
Burmese Khow Suey with 18 toppings!

This is one dish that will always take me back to Goa, yeah strangely it’s Goa! This is where I was introduced to the Burmese speciality, Khow Suey. We, my husband and me, had recently moved to Goa and had been invited to dinner to a friends place for dinner. What excited me about the dinner was that I was told this entree would have  30 odd ingredients. WOW! that sounded exotic. Even before I had arrived for dinner, I had built up an appetite. But the wheels in my mind were stuck on that one phrase, “30 ingredients, all in one dish!” I couldn’t wait to indulge.

And I would be lying if I didn’t say I was open-mouthed flabbergasted when the table was laid down! And I didn’t know how to spell the name of the dish I was sure I was going to devour down! The host had 13 odd bowls of tiny bites laid down, to that she added 5 bowls of sauces, a big bowl of rice, one of noodle and then sitting plump in the centre of the table was a luscious smooth coconut gravy with chicken. It was a sight to behold.

The lady soon became one of my closest friends, I mean she had to which foodie would miss out on these delicacies? Over time, I found my way around and got the authentic recipe and since then this dish has been one of the prides of my kitchen. I keep competing with myself over the number of accompaniments I can add to this delicious concoction, when all it actually needs is just 6! And the lemon.

The Khow Suey is a perfect dish to put up at a party as everything is kept ready in advance and the assembly can be customised as per taste. Not to forget it also makes you seem like a fabulous cook, when all you have actually done is make a chicken curry and chop up some veggies! But then no one needs to know how simple this can be. 🙂

Burmese Khow Suey

Serves 6


For the gravy:

  • 1 kg chicken, washed and cut into bite size pieces (you could use prawns, fish, pork or beef too)
  • 3 cups thick coconut milk
  • 3 finely chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 spicy green chillies, chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 3 tablespoon chickpeas flour
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

To serve:

  • 500 grams long grain rice or
  • 500 grams of egg noodles or both

For the toppings:

  • Fried onions
  • Finely chopped onions
  • Finely chopped shallots, just the greens
  • Finely chopped and fried potato straws
  • Finely chopped and fried garlic
  • Fried peanuts
  • Fried coconut slices
  • Ground peanuts
  • Finely chopped mint
  • Finely chopped coriander
  • Finely chopped chillies, red and green
  • Finely chopped  boiled eggs
  • Lemon slices
  • Garlic oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Fish sauce
  • Coriander oil


  1. Heat peanut oil in a deep dish and fry the ginger, garlic paste with the onions.
  2. When the onions are translucent, add the chicken and fry till the chicken gains some colour.
  3. Add all the dry masalas. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk mixed with chickpeas flour and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or till the chicken in cooked.
  4. Add salt to taste and stir in the fish sauce. Cook for another minute or two. Cover and set aside.

To serve: 

  1. Place the noodles or rice in a dish.
  2. Top with the chicken gravy.
  3. Add toppings as per taste. And finally, but most important add a big squeeze of lemon.

5 Comments on Burmese Khow Suey

  1. I can certainly vouch for the fact that this is a seriously yummy
    recipe. We had some important visitors last saturday
    and sunday so I gave it a shot. Your instructions were so amazing
    and it didn’t take so long as as I believed it would to get ready.
    Thanks for the great recipe

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