have this cook book by Naomi Duguid - it's so good that when my cousin asked my grandmother to write a cookery book for her of all the recipes she had growing up, she just bought her a copy of this instead!
I love this book - it is utterly beautiful inside and manages to somehow capture a land that for me is shrouded in romance and mystery. The photography is breathtaking and it focuses on the culture of the country, the hospitality of the people and the role food plays in everyday life. It does not dwell on Burma's tumultuous political history.
Fried Shallots and Shallot Oil
1 cup peanut oil
2 cups thinly sliced shallots
Using a heavy wok, heat the oil until it sizzles lightly. Test the temperature with one slice of shallot; when it rises to the surface of the oil you can add the rest carefully and lower the heat to medium. Stir gently and frequently and when the shallots turn golden (about 10 -15 minutes) carefully remove from the oil with a slotted spoon or a spider and leave to drain on kitchen paper. As they cool they will crisp up. Set the oil to one side for cooking with for the rice and the curry
2 to three tablespoons of the shallot oil from above
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup sliced shallots
4-5 cups cooked and cooled jasmine rice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup green peas (frozen is fine)
Cook the jasmine rice according to the packet instructions, drain and leave to cool
Heat the shallot oil in a heavy wok then add the turmeric and the shallots and stir fry until the shallots are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Raise the heat to high and add the jasmine rice, salt and peas. Stir fry, pressing the rice against the side of the wok to sear it. Continue cooking until the rice is hot by which time the peas will have cooked through. Add the fried shallots, stir and serve with the curry, topping with lime wedges.
200g peeled prawns
1/2 cup finely diced shallots
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 tablespoons shallot oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tin chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 green birdseye chilli, finely chopped and de-seeded if you want less heat
1/2 teaspoon salt
coriander leaves and lime to dress
Pound the garlic and shallots to a paste in a pestle and mortar
Heat the oil in the wok over a medium high heat. Add the turmeric and stir, then add the shallots and garlic paste, lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently until soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes at a medium boil stirring occasionally until the tomatoes are softened and any excess oil has risen to the surface.
Add the water and fish sauce, bring back to a medium boil and add the prawns. Cook until the prawns turn pink then add the chopped chilli and salt, stir briefly, check and adjust the seasoning if required and serve over the fried rice, garnished with coriander leaves and lime.