A taste of Burma : CHICKEN KHOW SUEY

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to tell you about this stunner of a dish. If you’ve already skimmed through the list of ingredients, I know what you’re thinking. I won’t lie, this recipe does call for quite a few elements and steps, but I guarantee that you will not regret it.

Khow suey is essentially a Burmese noodle dish served with a subtly spiced coconut curry/soup that’s topped with an array of contrasting condiments. A bit like the Singaporean laksa. I know it sounds a little intimidating at first, but it didn’t take too long for this dish to sneak its way into my list of regulars.

Among the areas where my willpower is at its weakest, I think throwing in extra garlic reigns supreme. The recipe says 5, I go with 7. 6? 9. And then there’s also this thing for odd numbers. OCD, much? Yes, I think so. I know that I’m going to have my own version of “Chicken with 43 cloves of garlic” someday.

I’ve made this recipe from time to time using store-bought coconut milk, but if you have access to making a fresh batch at home, there’s nothing like it. The chillies might seem like a lot, but once the seeds have been taken out, you get more flavour than heat from them. Also, the coconut milk really tones down the fieriness too. If you’d like it milder anyway, reduce the number.

Every time I make this, nostalgia sets in and takes me right back to family dinners at home. This recipe (like many others), is from my mom’s collection that I brought back with me when I got married and moved to Chennai. Honestly, mine tastes almost as good as hers. And that’s saying a lot.

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