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
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
- 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
- Heat peanut oil in a deep dish and fry the ginger, garlic paste with the onions.
- When the onions are translucent, add the chicken and fry till the chicken gains some colour.
- 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.
- Add salt to taste and stir in the fish sauce. Cook for another minute or two. Cover and set aside.
- Place the noodles or rice in a dish.
- Top with the chicken gravy.
- Add toppings as per taste. And finally, but most important add a big squeeze of lemon.