Chef Mohana Gill


Recently I just came back from my Myammar Water Festival Trip and a week later I saw this invitation sitting inside my email to attend Chef Mohana Gill homecook dinner with Myammar cuisine and of course I accept the invitation without any hesitation as I am still very curious to find out how a authentic Myammar food taste like, as I am still very curious on the taste. I was exploare with many different types of taste during my trip even though its the same food that make it very interesting.

During my trip, I got to learn that Myammar food have a huge influence from 2 countries. Heavily influence from both China & Thai follow by it own local taste.

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To make this more interesting, Chef MOhana is one of a award winning chef that is well known for her scrumptious yet healthy food and drinks, Mohana has extended her literary works to her motherland. Having grown up in Myanmar,
Mohana is passionate about sharing the beauty of the country, its people and its amazing cuisine through an intimate luncheon.

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On our welcome drink, we were given Roselle Punch. Its indeed one of a refreshing drink. I sip it down within 2 seconds and hope that I can get another glass. Too bad it was one per pax. Creamy enough that make the juice still strong in taste and ice is blend to fine tat makes it so good!

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Todays dinner menu is quite extensive. ..

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I love her kids cook book that is so well illustrated and cute which is also an award winning cook book for kids. Both cookbook are name are design reflects with her grandchildren.  Hayley’s Fruitastic Garden and Hayley’s Vegemania Garden

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As just came back from Myammar, and flipping thru one of her latest cookbook, Myanmar Cuisine, Culture and Customs recently was awarded Best in the World Asian Cookbook by Gourmand Work Cookbook Award 2014 did really impress me on how comprehensive and details  about its people, its history and culture and its cuisine, and also the picture take in there was too good that makes me bought one. Not only that as it was near mother’s day, I took this opportunity and gave one to my mom with Mohana Gills autograph in it.

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When I See this I got excited as Thanaka is one of their most famous local facial product that nearly every household in the country is using this traditional product. It is yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark. ITs apply on face that gives the cooling effect and also with some anti aging element that makes their face looks young is what they believe.

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STarted our appetizer with Fritters with Dip that is a kind of famous street snacks in Myammar, that consist of Fried Gourd Fritter (Boothee Kyaw) and Onion Fritter (Kyethun Kyaw)

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One of the dish was serve that end up many people mimic on the word as this dish is cook with Lab Lab Beans as they are also known as Hyacinth or Egyptian beans. The Simmered Lab Lab Beans (Pae Gyi Hnut) is cooked in turmeric and cooked till just tender. The beans are not too hard yet texture is not too soft and it went around the table very fast with many of them saying “I want lab lab”. 

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I had this when I was there as Crunchy Cabbage Salad (Gorbe Douk Thoke) is presented colourfully that the hint of sour smell.. Its something simple that you can start off munching as its pretty robust in flavors. 

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Mango Pickle (Thayet Thee Thanak) is something taste quite unique to me. Its a recipe from friend and that had then evolve a bit to make it taste quite a bomb. Sweet and Sour with hint of spices makes me think its cinnamon yet its not. 

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Fish Balls in Curry Gravy (Nga Soke Yay Cho) was star of the night as balls are made with fish meat then cook along in this curry.. Love the aroma of it as its not too strong in flavour yet watery, yet you can taste a hint of spices that makes it pretty good to “Flood your rice with curry”.

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As the main dish was pass around, all their little famous condiments are pass along too that some of it is very interesting. Crisp Fried Dried Prawns (Balachong) – Far Right,  taste very simliar to our “Dry Sambal prawn”. Very strong in flavour yet you stir it white rice you can just eat along without any hesitation.  It can be added into main dish to enhance its flavour.

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End our meal with something really really simple that any tom and jerry can cook this as you only need  five ingredients – drumstick leaves, onions, garlic, ginger and water, the soup is really simple, aromatic that you would want second bowl after that. I ended up having 3 bowls.

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This is another item that we eat in Myammar that will never get the same taste as Pickled Tea Leaf Salad (Lephet Thoke) serve in here taste quite different from what I taste there. Yet it boils down to their pickeld tea leaves that will make this plate tasty. This has spicy end yet pickled tea leaves is still very aromatic that did not overpower with the rest of the ingredient.

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To end the meal, chef prepared us Myanmar Pancake (Bien Mont) with Ice Cream and Fresh Watermelon for us. Usually the pancake is served as is but Mohana thought it would taste nicer with ice cream as I kinda find it similiar to our “ban Chang Kuih”.

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Its a great meal at the end of the night as every one went home satisfied, that many of team learn something new including me. As Mymmar cooking is never the same that they do not have a standard, whereby some states are more influence towards China and some might be towards more on Thai.

Chef Mohana really a humble person with quite number of awards under her yet still down to earth. Thanks for hosting us with such a lovely dinner. Besides that, if you are keen on cooking some really simple stuff, then you  might wanna consider getting this cook book and learn something new to cook as you can just do that by sending them an email – [email protected]

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