Curious about curries? Most of us have tasted a curry or two, but how about one from Myanmar (a.k.a. Burma)? Susan Chan's new cookbook, Flavors of Burma, is generously spiced with curry recipes - though, interestingly enough, most don't require curry. Confused? Chan explains that Burmese curries are distinctively curry-like, due to the ingredients and cooking methods, but that most don't contain curry powder at all. Learn about this curious phenomenon in Chan's book, which has a meaty introduction with information on everything from Burmese weather to cultural events. As for the other recipes, home cooks will be thrilled to learn that they won't have to schlep to a gourmet food store - the most common ingredients in Burmese cuisine are easily found at the average grocery store. The result is delicious, exciting, and accessible ethnic cuisine.
Flavors of Burma:
Cuisine and Culture from the Land of Golden Pagodas
by Susan Chan
(Hippocrene Books, March 2003)
What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted mainly to promote the cuisine and culture of Burma. Since there is a lack of a modern cookbook that provides information on both Burmese cuisine and culture, I took this opportunity to fill in the gap. The book provides an overview of the cuisine, culture, and experiences from my childhood memories and my visits.
What do you cook for your family at home?
I can tell you that we die for Fish Noodle Soup with Gravy Sauce. Almost everyone in Burma loves this; it is the national dish!
Common Burmese ingredients include:
- Chili peppers
- curry powder
- dried shrimp
- fish sauce
- shrimp paste
- sweet paprika