Rice is a staple in the Burmese cuisine and usually eaten with a curry, soup or salad.
A typical Burmese meal we encountered usually involved several small pots of various curries with a succession of small dishes including a soup, a plate of slightly boiled vegetables for dipping, a fish based sauce to dip the vegetables into and rice.
In Mandalay we stayed at the excellent Nan Bwe – The Vibe Guesthouse. The very charismatic owner, Nan Mwe taught us a lot about Burmese life and in particular about Burmese cuisine.
We highly recommend a visit to this excellent guesthouse for all travellers to Mandalay.
One of the more popular Burmese dishes is chicken curry, which we learnt to make with Nan Mwe.
This particular dish uses 5 boiled eggs and a lot of garlic (an ingredient we both love).
Ingredients for Burmese chicken curry
- 1kg of chicken breasts keep skin and bone for flavour skinned and boneless
- 5 tomatoes chopped
- 7 onions peeled and chopped
- 1 red chilli pepper, chopped (use half to make it less spicy)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 15 garlic cloves peeled
- 1 stick of peeled fresh ginger
- 65ml of cooking oil (peanut oil ideally, otherwise use vegetable oil)
- 100ml of cold water
- 1 tablespoon of soya sauce
- lemon zest from a whole lemon
- 5 hard boiled eggs
How to make Burmese chicken curry
1. Put a third of the onions, chopped red chilli pepper, 15 garlic cloves and ginger stick into a food processor (or pestle and mortar) and grind into a puree.
2. Add a teaspoon of salt and turmeric powder.
3. Rub the chicken with this puree mixture.
4. Heat 65ml of cooking oil in a frying pan on medium high heat then add the chicken.
5. Cook the chicken uncovered on a medium heat, until both sides brown, for around 10 minutes.
6. Remove the chicken from the pan.
7. Add the remaining onions into the pan and cook on a low heat, uncovered, until they brown. Stir occasionally to avoid them sticking to the pan.
8. Mix in 100ml of cold water, 1 tablespoon of soya sauce and the lemon zest and leave to cook for 3 minutes on a medium heat, uncovered.
9. Add in the chicken and cook, uncovered on a low heat for around 20 minutes.
10. Slice the 5 boiled eggs in half and add them. Cover and cook on a low heat for another 15 mins (or at least until the chicken is no longer pink). Gently stir so as not to turn the eggs.
Remove from the heat and serve with rice and lots of other Burmese goodies mentioned above.
Monday 12th of October 2020
Your recepie looks lovely and I can't wait to make it. I love burmese curry but where I live sadly there are no burmese restorants. I was wondering if you have authentic karlalay masala? I tried to buy it but it is impossible here in the UK. Keep showing us more of the burmese recepies!
Friday 26th of June 2020
I will surely try it out this dish very soon.I am born in Burma (taunggyi) and left for India in 1965 when I was 10 years old.I have a very fond memories of Burmese dishes like tofu,khau swey,mohinga ,ehakwe,nambia, powsee etc.
Wednesday 1st of July 2020
Thanks Vinod, I would love to know how it comes out :-)
Thursday 11th of June 2020
My fiance's family is from Burma and escaped due to the military coup. Unfortunately, his father and aunt were from a rich family and had cooks so they weren't taught how to cook. Auntie made up her own version of chicken curry and it's nothing like this one. Very delicious but nothing like this version. Going to attempt this version in the near future!!
Monday 22nd of June 2020
I'd love to hear your feedback on this :-)
Friday 20th of March 2020
This is one of the more authentic Burmese chicken curry. Most of the "Burmese chicken curry" recipes I have seen on the web have an Indian or Thai influence and use curry powder, lemon grass or coconut milk, and are not really authentic. Also, authentic Burmese recipes normally do not use chillie powder, but red dried chillies soaked in water and pounded in a mortar and pestle. But these days more and more are using chillie powder for ease of use and convenience.
Wednesday 27th of May 2020
Noted! Thanks for this.
Saturday 28th of April 2018
Hey guys, I've started writing a blog (not yet published) on vegetarian food with spice! The aim is to take some of the well known world recipes and make them veggie/vegan friendly. I'd love to use this recipe as a basis - would that be OK? If so, is one chilli enough? That won't make it spicy...can I add 5 or 6? Or is this not authentic? Second question, how crucial are the eggs? Is that traditional? I've noticed that recipes tend to change from region to region in many countries. Finally (sorry), does the salt AND the soya sauce make this dish really salty?
Saturday 28th of April 2018
Sure thing! Let us know how you get on with the variations to the recipe you suggested :)