Khao Suey is one of my most favourite things ever. It is the dish I am, almost always, the most drawn to, whenever I visit a Pan-Asian restaurant.
A one-bowl hearty meal in itself, the Khao Suey or Khow Suey hails from Burma (Myanmar). The typical Khao Suey is non-vegetarian, with pieces of cooked chicken added to a flavourful curried coconut milk broth, served with egg noodles. However, with time, as the Khao Suey crossed the boundaries of Burma and became a hot favourite across several countries, vegetarian versions began to emerge. Today, vegetarian Khao Suey is commonly available in high-end restaurants, at least here in Bangalore.
Today, I present to you my version of vegetarian Khao Suey, made using ingredients that are easily available in India. It might not be the most authentic of recipes, as they go, but I can say it tastes quite close to the Khao Suey we have gobbled up in several restaurants and loved. This version tastes equally delicious, and is not too tough to whip up either.
Let us now check out how to make Burmese Veg Khow Suey.
Ingredients (serves 4):
Veggies and paneer:
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 1 small carrot
- 1/2 of a small zucchini
- 3 large pieces of babycorn
- 2 large mushrooms
- 3-4 beans
- 1/2 of a small capsicum
- 2 tablespoons shelled green peas
- 2 medium-sized florets of broccoli
- A small piece of cottage cheese aka paneer
- A 1-inch piece of ginger
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 1 small onion
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander stems
- 3 dry red chillies
- 2 big kaffir lime leaves
- A handful of lemongrass leaves
- 1 teaspoon sambar powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1-1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 400 ml coconut cream
- 200 grams noodles
- 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon of oil
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons jaggery powder or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 4 tablespoons peanuts
- A little oil, for deep frying
- 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
We will first prepare the spice paste that will go into the Khao Suey.
- Get all the ingredients under the ‘To Grind’ list together.
- Peel the ginger, garlic and onion. Chop the ginger and onion into large-ish pieces.
- Transfer all the ingredients to a small mixer jar. Add a little water, and grind to a coarse paste. Keep aside.
Next, we will prep the veggies and paneer that will go into the Khao Suey.
- Peel the garlic and chop finely.
- Peel the carrot and chop into small pieces.
- Chop zucchini into small pieces. There is no need to peel the zucchini.
- Chop the babycorn into thin rounds.
- Chop the paneer, mushrooms and broccoli into small pieces.
- Remove strings from the beans. Chop into small pieces.
Let us now boil the noodles and keep them ready.
- Take the noodles in a pan. Add in just enough water to cover the noodles.
- Add in some salt and 1 tablespoon oil.
- Set the pan on high heat. Let the noodles cook till they are al dente (cooked through, but not mushy).
- At this stage, pour the noodles into a colander. Let the excess water drain out. Run some cold tap water over the noodles. Keep aside.
Now, we will prepare the broth for the Khao Suey.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. Add in the finely chopped garlic and saute for a minute.
- Now, add in all the veggies that we prepped earlier (carrot, zucchini, beans, broccoli, babycorn, mushroom, capsicum) and the shelled green peas. Add salt to taste. Saute the veggies till they are cooked, but still retain a bit of a crunch.
- Add the spice paste we prepared earlier, to the pan. Mix well, and cook for a couple of seconds.
- Turn the flame to medium. To the pan, add in the coconut cream, jaggery powder and turmeric. Add in the paneer cubes. Mix well, but gently, ensuring that the paneer cubes don’t break. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
- Cook on medium flame till the coconut milk comes to a boil. Switch off gas. If the raw smell of the spice paste hasn’t gone yet, you can simmer the broth for a minute or so.
Now, we will make preparations to serve the Khao Suey.
- Cut the lemon into wedges. Keep ready.
- Heat a little oil for deep frying in a pan.
- Chop the onion (for the garnish) into thin slices, and fry them in the hot oil till crisp and brown. Ensure that they do not burn. Transfer to a plate and keep aside.
- In the same oil, fry the peanuts till crisp and brown. Ensure that they do not burn. Transfer to a plate and keep aside.
Now, we are ready to serve the Khao Suey!
- Drop an equal amount of the cooked noodles into 4 serving bowls.
- Ladle a generous amount of the hot broth into each serving bowl.
- Garnish each bowl with some finely chopped coriander, fried onions and peanuts, and a couple of wedges of lemon. Serve immediately.
- You can use any type of noodles you prefer, to make this Vegetarian Khao Suey. Here, I have used a ready-to-use packet of whole wheat noodles.
- I have used paneer here, which you can substitute with tofu.
- You can use any vegetables of your choice to make the Khao Suey. Here I have used the vegetables I had on hand at the moment. Ensure that you cut the vegetables and paneer into small pieces for the Khao Suey – it tastes best that way.
- Make sure you don’t overcook the vegetables or the noodles, for best results.
- Adjust the quantity of water you use, depending upon how thick you would like the Khao Suey to be.
- Adjust the quantity of jaggery powder and salt as per personal taste preferences. Also, sugar can be used in place of the jaggery powder – I prefer the latter.
- I have used home-made sambar powder to make the curried coconut broth for the Khao Suey. You can use garam masala instead, too, but I prefer sambar powder.
- Adjust the quantity of dry red chillies you use, depending upon personal taste preferences. I have used 2 Bydagi chillies and 1 Salem Gundu chilli here, and the spiciness was just right for us.
- I have used a 400 ml can of Real Thai Coconut Cream to make the Khao Suey. Coconut cream is quite thick, so I have used about 1 cup of water to make the broth. The coconut cream can be substituted with coconut milk (home-made or store-bought) – just use about 500 ml of thick coconut milk in that case. If needed, you can add in a little gram flour to thicken the broth. Use water if needed, otherwise skip it entirely.
- Please do not be intimidated by the long list of ingredients for the Khao Suey. It is a very simple dish to put together. Only basic prep work is needed, and then, it is a matter of minutes to get the Khao Suey ready.
- Ensure that you keep the flame at medium while adding the coconut cream/milk. Cook the broth on a medium flame to prevent curdling.
- The use of store-bought coconut cream and paneer here does not make this the healthiest dish. If you can swap these two ingredients for home-made coconut milk and paneer, you transform this into a (relatively) healthy dish.
This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for the week is #FoodMagBest, wherein participants have to cook up recipes that are worthy of the front cover of a magazine. Quite an interesting theme, right?
This week’s theme was decided upon by Seema of Mildly Indian. I chose to demonstrate how to make Burmese Veg Khow Suey, for the theme.