Monday, July 11, 2005

Popular Burmese/Myanmar Desserts

In Myanmar meals, desserts are not the big feature as they are in Western meals. The sweets are usually between-meal snacks made from sticky rice or cool refreshers of shaved ice sweetened with syrup and bits of fruit or beans cooked in sugar.

Mont Linmayar

This is quite a popular Burmese snack. The name itself is interesting. Linmayar means a couple: a husband and wife. One mont linmayar is made up of two spherical pieces. The two segments are put together facing each other, making them a loving couple (linmayar). A similar snack is eaten in Thailand and is called Khanom Khrok.


Rice (coarse rice) - approximately 16 cups
Baking Soda - 2 teaspoons
Coriander leaves - Chopped
Scallions - Chopped


1. Wash rice and soak in water for one night.
2. Grind rice, put in a piece of cloth to squeeze out water of the dough.
3. Add water, some salt and baking soda to the dough.


1. Heat the special pan and oil the cups.
2. Pour one spoon of mixture into the concave cups.
3. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and scallions.
4. Oil them a bit more and cover the pan for a little until the surface is crisp and golden brown. At this stage, you can either put quail eggs or you can put the two spherical pieces together.
5. When they are taken out of the pan, sprinkle ground sesame seeds and are ready to be eaten.


Don't pour oil into the pans but just brush off the cups with some oil. Some eat this snack as a sweet dessert by eating this with sugar and shredded coconut pieces. Some eat with cooked coconut milk. To eat this as a dessert, do not put spring onions and coriander leaves.

Mont Lone Ye Baw

Mont Lone Ye Baw are small glutinous rice dumplings stuffed with palm sugar. Mont Lone means rice balls/dumplings and Ye Baw means floating on water. The name originates from the way you have to cook Mont Lone Ye Baw; you roll the rice dough into balls, boil them in water and they float up when they are ready.


Glutinous Rice - 1/16 of tin (a unit measure for grain, a tin is approximately a bushel)
Ordinary Rice - 2 cups
Palm Sugar - 1 lb.
Shredded Coconut - 16 oz
Salt - some


1. Wash both glutinous rice and ordinary rice in water and let it sleep for one night.
2. The next day, use a hand mill to grind the rice and drip water out of the dough.
3. When there is no water, mix the dough using hands until you get a sticky consistency. Put some salt while you are mixing the dough.
4. Cut the palm sugar into small pieces, one plum sugar should get about 8 pieces.


1. Stuff a piece of palm sugar into the center of the dough and roll it into small dumplings the size of marbles.
2. Boil the balls in hot boiling water. When they are ready, the balls will float on top of the water.


Take them out of water and put them on a plate. Spread shredded coconut on top of the balls and eat.

Iced Coconut Milk with Tapioca

Ingredients :

Tapioca - 1 Cup
Water - 4 Cups
Chopped palm sugar - 3/4 Cup
Coconut milk - 4 Cups
Ice cubes

Directions :

1. Wash and soak sago for approximately 1 hour.
2. Drain and put in a large saucepan with 3 cups of the water.
3. Bring to the boil and simmer over a moderate heat until sago grains are clear.
4. Cool and chill.
5. Put palm sugar in a small saucepan with remaining water and heat gently until the cakes of sugar dissolve.
6. Cool and strain the syrup.
7. For each serving, put approximately 4 tablespoons of chilled sago into a tall glass.
8. Add 3 tablespoons syrup or more according to taste and mix well.
9. Add 2-3 ice cubes and fill up with coconut milk.
10. Stir and serve immediately.

Note : A cooling drink of sago, coconut milk and palm sugar which can be served as a dessert.

Rich Semolina (Sanwinmakin)

Yield: 12


3 each or 2 pounds grated coconut
4 ounces oil
1 pound semolina
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound sugar
2 ounces raisins
5 eggs
3/4 cup poppy seeds
4 ounces butter or ghee


1. Grate coconut hand extract cream (Or buy Coconut Milk Tin.). Keep pure and diluted extracts separately.

2. Strains diluted extract and dissolve in it the semolina and sugar. Let stand 30 minutes.
Beat eggs well. Add to above mixture. Add to it-melted butter and oil.

3. Put into pan large enough to have 1 1/2 inches deep only. Cook slowly, stirring all the time.
Keep stirring as color yellows then browns slightly.

4. Add pure coconut cream and salt, raisins, and 1/2 the poppy seeds, and keep stirring. After 5 minutes, take off fire and bake in slow oven, or continue over embers with hot coals placed evenly over top lid.

5. When cake is solid, press rests of poppy seeds on top and continues baking till well browned.
Let cool overnight if possible. Cut in diamonds. They keep well.

Seaweed Jelly(Kyaukchaw)


2 ounces dry seaweed agar
2 cups sugar
2 medium or 1 1/2 pounds grated coconut


1. Soak agar in water 2 hours ahead to swell.

2. Grate coconuts. Put grated coconut into a clean wet cloth and squeeze pure cream from it. Keep this pure cream separately. Extract pure coconut milk. (Or buy it from super market.)

3. Clean the swelled agar. Measure it by cupfuls. Strain diluted coco-nut into cooking pot, adding water till there are twice as many cups as agar. Add sugar and agar and boil till all agar is dissolved.

4. Set aside about 1/4 of this in a bowl. Add drops of coloring to the remaining mixture and stir them in. Add half coconut cream and pour into shallow dish large enough to fill up to 1 1/2 inches thick only. Let cool.

5. Reheat the 1/4 set aside. Combine with rest of coconut cream and pour onto earlier jelly. Let set well and cut in diamonds.

Iced Jelly Drink Recipe

Ingredients :

1 can Grass Jelly - It is sold in cans at Asian grocery stores, this black jelly made with seaweed is used exclusively in sweet drinks throughout Burma, Malaysia, Singapore and China. It tastes and smells faintly of iodine.

Syrup made from palm sugar
Rose flavoring
Iced water
Crushed ice

Directions :

1. Make a syrup from the sugar and water.
2. When cooled, flavor lightly with the rose flavoring.
3. Chop grass jelly into thin strips.
4. Put a tablespoon of jelly into each glass.
5. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the syrup.
6. Fill up with iced water and crushed ice.
7. Stir well and serve.

Note : Chopped agar-agar jelly can be used in place of canned grass jelly. Another version of this uses coconut milk instead of water, and is also delicious and cooling on a hot day.


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