My first memory of Khow Suey was of a one-dish meal that looked so very appetizing and presentable, and such a welcome change from staple Indian fare that we ate day after day, with minor variations. This was over two decades ago, when the noodle craze, and fixation for Chinese food was abating, and ‘noodles in gravy’ with an endless line of condiments to be added seemed a delectable novelty.
Many countries and cuisines later, my interest in Khow Suey remains, except that I now happen to be living in the country of its origin. It is in Myanmar I learnt that the version of this dish I like, is called Ohn-no khow suey, meaning noodles with coconut milk gravy.
Ohn-no khow suey is one of the most palatable preparations in Burmese cuisine and is actually a breakfast dish, and relished by locals and foreigners alike, though the latter are happy eating it for meals during the day as well. No strong odors, while being appetizing and wholesome, Khow Suey can be made as a purely vegetarian dish as well, substituting fried tofu for chicken.
It is served with a long list of condiments for garnishing, which when arranged on the table, make it one of the most presentable single dish meals.
Just thought of sharing my recipe for Ohn-no khow suey, which tastes great, and has been enjoyed, both by family and guests.
Noodles- thin or round wheat or rice noodles. Boiled drained, and twirled into rounds and kept separately for individual servings
For the gravy:
Boneless chicken- 500 gms, preferably from thigh
Onions- finely chopped-1 cup
Ginger garlic paste- 1 tablespoon
Vegetables (optional) – baby corn and mushrooms, halved- 1 cup
Red tomatoes-pureed, 1 cup
Coriander powder- 1 teaspoon
Red chilli powder-1/2-1 teaspoon
Turmeric- ¼ teaspoon
Chick pea flour/Black gram flour/Besan- 2 tablespoons
Coconut milk-250 ml
Fish sauce- 1 tablespoon (optional)
Salt to taste
Oil- 3 tablespoons
Golden fried sliced onions
Fried chopped garlic
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Green chillies- sliced, and soaked in light soy sauce
Spring onions, chopped with the green stems
Crushed, roasted peanuts
Red chilli paste, or red chilli oil
Boiled eggs, cut in wedges
Fried corn fritters
Boil noodles and keep ready in a serving tray, twirled in single portions, or can even be placed in a bowl and served with tongs. A bit of oil prevents sticking.
In a pan, take two tablespoons of oil, add the chopped onions and cook till golden. Add a bit of water to prevent burning, and then add ginger-garlic paste, tomatoes, coriander, chilli and turmeric powders, and cook till oil appears. Now add chicken and a cup of water, and simmer till chicken is soft. Keep very little water in the gravy.
In another pan take the remaining one tablespoon of oil, add the flour and fry on low heat till it looks light golden in color. Quickly add coconut milk and simmer on low for five minutes. Add to the chicken, and cook for 5-10 minutes till it thickens. Take out in a deep curry bowl.
In small sauce bowls, place the condiments separately. Put them next to noodles and chicken.
Serve in soup bowls, first putting noodles, topped with gravy and then condiments of choice, or all of them.