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Burmese fragrant cinnamon chicken (Kyet thar hin-hmwe)

I was looking for an easy chicken recipe for a last-minute lunch and this was the recipe that seemed to pop out in terms of flavour and simplicity. I also love the cuisine from Myanmar, complex and akin to Indian technique, I was sure my guests would love this recipe.

The recipe was fabulous. The sauce is light yet rich with flavour and the chicken is cooked till it is fork-tender. The salt from the soy and the cinnamon work well together in harmony. This is a simple recipe to throw together at the last minute, one that does not need any special ingredients. It was a hit on the table and one that I will make again.

Mandalay is not just a cookbook, it is an eye into the culture and customs of the cuisine of Myanmar. The book is packed with recipes and stories about Mimi that bring these recipes together beautifully. The recipes are quite simple in terms of ingredients without any special ingredients generally required, but the flavours are authentic and delicious. This is a lovely book to be used as an introduction to Burmese cooking, and it is one I will be cooking from often.

For more recipes from this amazing cookbook, click here.


3 tablespoons peanut oil

6 onions, finely diced

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

4-5 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon ginger paste

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Salt, to taste

8 chicken thighs or chicken cut of your choice

8 cups water

Heat the oil in a pot, add the onions and turmeric and fry on low heat till the onions are very soft and translucent about 10 minutes. Do not lt the onions get any colour.

Add the sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, chilli, paprika, pepper and salt and give the onion mix a quick turn. Add the chicken. and cook for 3-4 minutes till the chicken is coated with the spices.

Add the water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 45 minutes till the chicken is very tender. The sauce will tend to reduce and thicken to a consistency of light cream.

Serve hot with jasmine or other stick rice.

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