I am forever thankful that my parents taught me how to cook. I love that I can pass the recipes I grew up eating onto the next generation. My kids don’t look Burmese, but they certainly eat like Bumese girls. Hopefully, one day they can visit Burma and eat these same dishes there, but until then, they can experience a taste of Burma in their own home.
3 onions, diced
2-3 Tablespoons garlic/ginger paste
1-2 Tablespoons turmeric
1-2 Tablespoons chili powder/paprika mix (I just mix half and half in a bottle)
Chicken (I used 6 drumsticks, but any cut up chicken is fine)
5 potatoes (leave out if limiting carbs)
3-5 jalapeños if you’re a fan
Oil to cover the bottom of your pot (I used my Le Creuset 5 qt stainless steel brasier. Love. Love. Love.)
Cilantro for garnish
Salt to taste
The base for most Burmese food usually starts the same, at least it does in my kitchen. Cook the diced onions over medium heat in the oil. When the onions start to brown, add the garlic/ginger paste, turmeric, and chili powder/ paprika mix. Let that cook for a few minutes. It will seem like it’s sticking to the pan a little, don’t worry, all that flavor will come up when you add the chicken. If you can’t find garlic/ginger paste, just do what my mom does and make your own with a mortar and pestle. I’m a lazy cook, so I rely on the jarred stuff.
Next, you add the chicken and jalapeños if you’re using them and some salt. Keep the heat on medium until the chicken gets opaque, then turn it down to low. As the chicken cooks, peel the potatoes and put them in a microwave safe bowl with enough water to cover. My mom’s secret to melt in your mouth potatoes is that she deep fries them before adding them to her curry. As previously stated, I’m lazy, so I just nuke them in water until done. It takes my microwave about 12 minutes.
When the potatoes are mostly cooked through, I add them to the chicken, along with some of the cooking liquid. My mom wouldn’t approve, but my kids really like the sauce, so I have to make extra. Add a little more salt at this point, the potatoes need it.
Continue to cook on low, covered, for another 30 minutes or so, until the chicken is cooked through and comes away from the bone easily. I don’t really do much stirring at this point, or else it breaks up the potatoes. I kind of just shake the pot intermittently. If you’re using boneless skinless breasts or thighs, it’ll take waaaaaayyyy less time to cook. When the chicken is cooked through, test for salt, and garnish with cilantro.
I enjoy all my curries with warm rice (hello…Asian). My husband doesn’t really have the same love for rice that I do, so he just eats it in a bowl like a stew. I find that odd, but that’s probably how he’s able to maintain his healthy physique, while I struggle to not blow up like a balloon . I also enjoy it with hot Burmese chili paste. I still have to learn how to make that from my parents…that will be another post. Hopefully, I can get pics of my mom cooking!