Recipe

Khao Suey Bowl of happiness

February 26, 2008

Two weeks ago, I was a smug holiday return.You know the type. White clothes to show off even brown tan. New accessories acquired from tribal villages in far flung places. Delirious, inexplicable happiness etched on ageing face.I am happy to report that seven days of hayfever, two client deadlines and one narrow escape from missing cleaner incident later it has been well and truly been knocked out of me.

This is where I start ranting about the injustice of the London Underground. Or – God forbid – start sharing my 4000 holiday photos. I’ll just stick to sharing a recipe from my travels with you instead. The dish is Khao Swe (pronounced Sway) – a Burmese soup noodle dish topped. I grew up on this in Kolkata, where owing to trade links to Burma, every family had its own recipe that was the subject of much competition and pride among the aunties.

Up in Chiang Mai, I tried the Thai version. Traditionally cooked with chicken, Khao Suey is a coconut curry topped with a selection of fresh herbs and spices. All added in the quantities you want from little bowls on the table.This dish makes great party food. Mainly, because you would have to be nuts to chop all the garnish ingredients for the two of you.I cooked it for Aunt Madge and her boyfriend. They ate loads. Spilt it down their sweaters. And looked deliriously, inexplicably happy.Something to beat the holiday blues too perhaps?

 

Ingredients

Feeds 6:

  • 6 large chicken thighs, skinned
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • Half inch ginger
  • Half tsp turmeric powder
  • Half tsp chilli powder
  • Half tsp cumin powder
  • 3 green finger chillies,
  • 4 sprigs of curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 x 400ml tin of thick coconut milk
  • 2 large onions, finely sliced
  • 6 rounds of medium egg noodles
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • To garnish:
  • 6 eggs
  • 125 fresh coriander leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 spring onions, green and white bits
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 key limes
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

Method

First make the soup. Chop the ginger and garlic and bring the oil to heat in a large pan over a high flame.

When the oil is hot, fry the onions and the curry leaves until they soften and turn translucent. Then add the garlic, ginger and green chillies and fry for another five minutes.

Now add the powders and the chicken. Seal the chicken on each side, stirring like a maniac to mix them up well with the masalas.

Submerge the chicken pieces in hot water and leave to boil away on a medium flame. While the chicken is cooking, prepare all the garnish ingredients in the following order:

  • Hard boil the eggs
  • Chop the garlic and fry until crisp and golden
  • Slice the onion finely and fry in the leftover garlic oil
  • Chop up the coriander, green chillies and spring onions
  • Peel and mash the eggs roughly with a fork
  • Quarter the limes

Kit little bowls with the garnish and place in the centre of the table. Now take each piece of chicken out of the pan and, using two forks, shred it quickly. If the chicken is cooked, the chicken will simply fall off the bone. Get rid of the bone and return the chicken into the soup. Don’t substitute the thighs with boring chicken breasts, for full stock impact!Then pour in the coconut milk and leave to simmer, while you cook the noodles according to pack instructions.When the noodles are done, put the soup pan and the noodles on the table so guests can help themselves. Sprinkle liberally with the garnish ingredients. Serve with plenty of napkins, coz it will get messy.

 

Comments

12 Responses to “Khao Suey Bowl of happiness”

  1. Asha Says:

    February 27th, 2008 at 6:51 am

    Hay fever started for you already! I am dreading March now, hopefully I won’t get any worse this year than last year.
    Burmese, eh? Never tried one of those yet, looks great though!:)
    Take care.

  2. sra Says:

    February 27th, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Mallika, I went to Chiang Mai too – but didn’t see this or look for it. We had a lot of the local specialities and a Khan Toke dinner. Did you try that? My friend’s mom, who was raised in Burma, made this for us when we were in college.

  3. mycookinghut Says:

    February 27th, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    I love the picture!

    You’ve been tagged for a meme. Please check it out here: http://www.mycookinghut.com/2008/02/27/been-tagged-a-meme/

  4. Smita Says:

    February 27th, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Hilarious – I’m chortling at my desk :-) The Sway looks very zen!

  5. Michelle Says:

    February 28th, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Yum….looks good. Sorry to hear your recovery from vacation has occured!

  6. Wendy Says:

    March 2nd, 2008 at 11:17 am

    This has to be made and it has to be made this week. Rather excited about the prospect of eating this. :)

  7. Happy Cook Says:

    March 4th, 2008 at 10:29 am

    A real funny post.
    Love the dish.

  8. mandira Says:

    March 5th, 2008 at 7:14 am

    this looks like a bowl of happiness. :) did you use chicken stock or water to make the soup? Looks delicious, will have to try it soon.

  9. Jo Chopra Says:

    May 2nd, 2010 at 11:15 am

    This is such a wonderful recipe! I make it with mushrooms instead of chicken and it’s fabulous. I’m thinking of trying it with kathal (the chicken that grows on trees) as soon as it comes in season.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. Tanya Says:

    October 6th, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Hey,

    I just tried this in Mumbai this time in Lemon Grass restaurant and loved it so much that I kept going back every night for dinner there.

    Thank you for sharing the recipe, will try it out!

    Cheers
    Tanya

  11. eloisa jane flores Says:

    February 11th, 2011 at 12:45 am

    i was curious of the eggs being mashed why does it have 2 b like that?
    hmmpp. anyway we’ll be trying this in school later. i just wonder how it taste

  12. Sunny Arzilli Says:

    December 15th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Finally, got what I was looking for!! Thanks.

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