This Burmese one bowl meal is the answer to all those woes – what to make for a meal when you are tight on time, but still want a lovely not the run of the mill meal to look forward to! I usually have my pantry stocked with staples such as noodles, coconut milk tins or tetrapacks, and most Indian kitchens would have the array of spices always on hand – turmeric, coriander seeds, poppy seeds, cumin seeds, etc. The curry uses basic vegetables – peas, cauliflower, carrots and green beans. Feel free to replace the vegetables (or meat) per your taste, or omit them completely (which is SS’s suggestions for next time around). 

The original recipe I used didn’t include sugar, ginger, chilli or lemongrass, but I found that adding all of these made the curry a lot more balanced and added a great depth of flavour, with little fuss. The add-ons are where the fun is! You can opt for the more cumbersome options of frying up onions and garlic, or just chop up some lovely green onion and add crunchy peanuts! The possibilities are endless, and the satisfaction is definitely guaranteed. Go on, don’t get dissuaded by the list of ingredients. The recipe is actually amazingly easy and once you have a bite – totally worth the (little) effort!

Burmese Khao Suey

Feeds 4

Curry Paste

  1. 5 whole dry kashmiri red chillies
  2. 1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
  3. 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  4. 2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  5. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  6. 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  7. 2 tbsp freshly grated coconut
  8. 2 tsp chopped ginger
  9. 2 tbsp poppy seeds (khus-khus)
  10. 5-6 cashewnuts
  11. 1 stalk lemongrass (the white centre tender parts)
  12. 1-2 red chillies (adjust to taste)
  13. 1 knob ginger, grated 
  14. 1/2 cup water 


  1. 3 tbsp oil
  2. 2 bayleaves
  3. 7 to 8 curry leaves
  4. 1 grated onion
  5. 2 grated tomatoes
  6. 2 cups chopped and boiled mixed vegetables (french beans, carrot, green peas and cauliflower) (optional)
  7. 600 ml coconut milk
  8. salt & sugar, to taste


2 packets of hakka noodles


  1. Fried garlic
  2. Fried onion
  3. Green onion, both green and white chopped
  4. Coriander 
  5. Lime juice
  6. Chilli flakes
  7. Crushed peanuts
  8. Beansprouts 
  9. Salt 


  1. Combine all the paste ingredients in a mixer and pulse till a almost smooth paste forms. 
  2. Boil the noodles, and then run under cold water and leave in an wide container. Run a teaspoon worth of oil through the noodles to prevent from sticking. 
  3. Heat the oil in a deep non-stick pan, add the bayleaves, curry leaves and onions and sauté on a medium flame for 2 minutes or till it turns light brown in colour.
  4. Add the prepared paste and sauté on a medium flame for 1 minute.
  5. Add the tomatoes and sauté on a medium flame for 2 more minutes.
  6. Add the coconut milk and salt, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 4 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Keep aside. Adjust to taste and add more salt, chilli and sugar as needed. Add a cup of water. 
  7. Cook for 10 minutes, then strain using a wide mesh (not too fine or else it’ll be a mess). Add the cooked vegetables, if using. 
  8. When ready to serve, make sure the curry is boiling hot. Divide noodles into shallow bowls or soup bowls, top with a few ladles of curry and garnish according to taste. Dig in!

PS – Remember, the garnishes add a lot of flavour so don’t be downcast if the curry doesn’t tickle your taste buds!

PPS – This recipe can easily be multiplied to feed a party. 

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