The Seventh lunar month of Thadingyut (October) is a month of many events. It is the time when the South – west monsoon started to say good -bye to our country after delivering precious pearly showers of rain to our 22 million acres of land under cultivation every year principally to the paddy fields, yielding staple food for the population as well as for export.
It is the end of the rainy reason and the beginning of the cold season, signaling the farmers to prepare themselves for busy days ahead, tending the ripening fields and the harvest of the precious golden crop. Endless stretches of gold touch the far horizons, undulating as the winds kiss their heavy laden grains, justifying the reputation of the wealth of the golden land and its smiling people.
In spite of the amazing strides of development through these years of the market oriented economy and consumerism, Myanmar society remains traditionally simple. Parallel to the fast lane movers with fast food joints and ostentatious living syndrome, time-tested snacks produced by our precious land still satisfy the appetite of the multitude of urban and rural community.
Winter is the reason when the harvest yields fresh grains of numerous varieties of rice, aromatic, delicious in tis freshness and satisfying. Farmers used to offer the first crop to the guardian spirits for the bounty, and pray for good fortune ahead. Special festivals such as the eating of the new produce are organized by the elders in accompaniment with traditional dances to propitiate the gods and please the community. Glutinous rice is the most popular snack well-liked by old and young. There are many ways to prepare snacks from the glutinous rice. There are two varieties of rice, white and purple. Among the many concoctions, steamed glutinous rice is the most simple to prepare and delicious to enjoy. It is taken with a liberal sprinkling of grated dishes usually include assorted vegetable fires, fired meat, venison, fish, etc. to make it more relishing and gulped down with steaming hot Shan green tea . Now steamed glutinous rice has taken a prestigious place in the breakfast menu of official and business gatherings, golf tournaments and reputable food centers catering to foreign visitors.
The recipe is rendered as follows:
Steamed Glutinous Rice Ingredient: Glutinous rice, white or purple, 8 measures by condensed milk tin. Brown peas, 2 measures; sesame ½ measure: salt.
Firstly wash the glutinous rice thoroughly and soak it is cold water. Boil the brown pea to the required texture.
Fill the lower compartment of the steamer with water and let it boil. Then fix the upper compartment with sieved holes and fill it with soaked rice. When it is partly ready, sprinkle the boiled brown peas over the steaming rice. After a few minute the steamed rice is ready for serving.
In the meantime roast the sesame on slow fire. Then pound the roasted sesame and a small measure of salt into semi-fine powder. The aroma of sesame heightens the taste.
Great the white coconut kernel into shreds and put in a separate bowl. To serve, scoop the steaming glutinous rice into individual plates, sprinkle liberally with shredded coconuts and a dash of sesame-salt mix and relish to heart’s content.
Myanmars have a predilection for fried delicacies in spite of what health pundits advise to the contrary. A steamed glutinous rice feast will never be deemed complete without these assorted fires. Most popular is the fresh gourd strips dipped in tempura and fried to crisp golden brown texture. Beans, brown peas, sliced onions, Chinese green leaves are also favoured to make such assorted fries.
Some choosy epicures who prefer meat may enjoy fried venison (which are still provided by Hunters), fried fish fingerlings, or dried salted fish grill in charcoal fire and shredded.