s a country of Asia, Myanmar is rich in its own traditions and culture not just in attire but also in cuisines and desserts. Rice is the main ingredient in most of the cuisine such as Moathinga, Shan Noodles and Rakhine Moati Soups and is a one of main dishes in every meal. Other dishes are mostly curry, soups and salads.
After having lunch and dinner, our ancestors used to savor traditional dessert cuisine to balance the taste of their lunch and dinner dishes. Nowadays, most of the desserts have become street food snacks in the morning or night markets of the townships. Traditional desserts are different according to the different states and regions of Myanmar, and have different flavors.
Most of Myanmar’s deserts are so tasty that a lot of them became in between snacks that are eaten throughout the day. In this article I'm introducing some of the delightful Burmese desserts you must try, most of them can be bought at the markets, street vendors and local restaurants of Myanmar.
Jaggery is a sweet snack which is made from sugar cane or palmsap. It is also a sweetener ingredient for many dishes, including desserts. The pure Jaggery has the medical value of giving good blood circulation and its also believed to cool your body down. Jaggery comes in brown color and has different shapes like balls and sticks. Burmese people consider jaggery as the Burmese chocolate and is the perfect snack for after heavy meals. Jaggery is produced in Yesagyo Township of Magway region, which is a famous destination for jaggery production.
Tea Leaf Salad
You can find Tea Leaf Salad at every corner of Myanmar. This salad includes fermented pickled tea leaves, peanuts, beans and peas, sesame seeds. onions, oils, tomatoes, lemon and a pinch of salt. The ingredients of the salad vary according to the destinations of Myanmar and change the color and taste of the salad. People in Myitkyina (Northern Part of Myanmar) add the pea flour to taste a more sticky flavor, and in Yangon( Southern Part of Myanmar) add the corn and dried fishes for savory flavor.
This traditional Burmese dessert increases the feeling of being active after a meal. Some people like to eat as a dish of their meal. Be careful when you try because you will fall in love with this salad that Myanmar invented even though it sounds weird to eat tea leaf as a dessert. If you want to know more about this salad - read more.
Moat Lin Mayar ( Couple Snack)
This is a very common snack in Myanmar with the romantic name, Moat Lin Mayar (Mont: Snack, Lin Mayar: Husband and Wife). The main ingredients are rice flour, boiled yellow peas and salted sesame and originated from Upper Myanmar. Each Couple Snack has two half spherical shapes and combined as one after each half is cooked. Some people add a quail egg in the snack. It is a crunchy , yellowish dessert and you can find mostly in street markets of Myanmar.
Moat Lone Yay Paw
This is a famous dessert when we welcome the Myanmar New Year at the Thingyan festival (in April). It means round snack on the water and consists of rice flour, coconut milk, jaggery, shredded coconut and is cooked in a boiling pot. This is a refreshment snack for Burmese people after playing the traditional new year water fights with others. The Mote Lone Yay Paw desert represents a wish for peace, strength and happiness of Myanmar People for the rest of the year. The taste can be different according to the stuffing of the snack. If there is no stuffing, it will have a sticky rich flavor. The sweet taste will delight you if you have a bite with jaggery. Be careful there might be some pepper in the stuffing too.
Moat Kwal Thae
Moat Kwal Thae is a traditional dessert that generally consists of finely chopped white rice flakes which are mixed with coconut, brown sugar, lime juice, and salt. Some people use jaggery instead of brown sugar to give Mon Kwal Thae an even sweeter taste. Though it is traditionally consumed as dessert, some people eat Mon Kwal Thae for breakfast too. It is black in color and you can find them in street markets.
Bain Mont (Burmese Pancake)
The Bein Mont dessert is a time-tested dessert, known to Myanmar people for generations. It is very sweet and tasty with peanuts, coconut milk, jaggery, rice flour, oil and poppy seeds. This dessert is a round shape with crispy on the sides and fluffy in the middle part. People of Myanmar believe that this dessert can help to remove their stress and tiredness so they usually eat Bein Mont dessert after a hard day.
Kaut Nyinn Paung and Nga Cheik Paung( Sticky Rice)
It is also like the Si Htamin just without the turmeric powder. The white rice is called Kaut Nyinn and the black rice is called Nga Cheik. Both white and black glutinous rice are used for this dessert. This dessert can complete your breakfast or tea break and perfect with a cup of burmese milk tea.
This is also the seasonal festival delicacy which has a traditional Htamane competition history of Myanmar. There are groups in the competition and each group has 4 to 5 people. Every group has to make one delicious Htamane, starting from making fire to complete presentation. The best team is awarded after the audience voted based on the taste, presentation, hygiene and cooking methods.
"The festival celebrates around 11 months of Burmese lunar calendar (in February). The competition starts on the full moon day of Tabodwe and the snack is donated to many people around the neighborhood as festival gifts." The dessert is also a glutinous rice-based snack consisting of groundnut oil, ginger, water, coconut shavings, peanuts and sesame.
Moat Sein Paung ( Steamed rice cake)
This dessert is for those people who like a fluffy taste with a fresh smell. Unlike other rice based desserts, it has two layers. One includes steamed rice with jaggery and has a sweet taste and a brown color. The other layer is just steamed plain rice and rich in flavour. You can buy this dessert from street vendors in the morning market and ask them to add shredded coconut and salted sesame for more different tastes.
Moat Pyar Thalat
Moat Pyar Thalat, so-called Burmese plain pancake dessert, is made of bean, parsley, and rice flour. It sounds like dessert but it's savory because the ingredients are not sweet. Moat Pyar Thalat has a simple flavor without strong tastes like spicy or sweet food. So Myanmar people Moat Pyar Thalat with shredded coconut or salted sesame. Some added palm sugar syrup for the sweet taste.
Sanwin Makinn / Burmese Semolina Cake
A must try dessert that will be perfect to have on your trip. It is also called Burmese semolina cake baked with semolina flour, toasted poppy seeds, butter and coconut milk. It is a famous dessert in the donation ceremony which contains sweet aroma and richness in taste as a dessert. You should have semolina cakes with a cup of green tea or black coffee to balance the sweetness.
Want to make your own Semolina cake ? Check out this Youtube video.
Shwe Yin Aye
It is a popular refreshing cold dessert of Myanmar. It contains coconut milk, Burmese kyauk kyaw (two layered coconut milk jelly), sticky rice, tapioca seeds, a slice of bread and ice cubes. It is a sweet and delicious dessert which Myanmar people enjoy during summer and hot days. Some households donate this dessert as new year gifts for the neighborhood.
Khaw Poat is the Shan Nation snack of Myanmar. Going to Shan region is not complete without a taste of khaw Poat as the way of the local cook before a meal. It mixed up white and black sticky rice, sesame seeds, salt and brown slab sugar. It can easily be savored at home by frying or roasting it.
Moat Latt Saung
Moat Latt Sung consists of white or green moat phat which is made by pounding and shaping sticky rice, coconut milk or jaggery caramel sauce, shredded coconut, sago and ice cubes. The ingredients will differ according to the places, for example in Yangon we enjoy green moat phat with jaggery caramel sauce.
Where to buy a traditional Burmese Dessert
There are also many other Myanmar Traditional Snacks which are delicious and tasty. The mentioned desserts are famous and can easily be bought in the street markets and local restaurants of Myanmar. There are also online sellers for the ceremonies and parties with reasonable prices. So, make sure to taste those snacks along the trip and pack them for the way back home when you reach our golden land.
For traditional Burmese snack stories, please visit here
All Photo credited to မြန်မာ့ဓလေ့