27 October 2012

More Burma

I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying Rivers of Flavor.  Here's the current list of what we've tried:

Fried shallots
Chile-garlic sauce
Spinach and tomato salad
Long bean salad with peanuts
Roasted eggplant salad
Okra shallot stir-fry
Tamarind-pumpkin curry
Eggplant delight
Easy coriander tomato omelet
Golden egg curry
Paneer in tomato sauce
Pale yellow Shan tofu
Deep-fried Shan tofu
Fish stew with aromatics
Chile-oil fish
Chicken in tart garlic sauce
Peanut and rice porridge

16 new recipes in a month? Yeah, we're enjoying ourselves.

One thing I like about Duguid's books is that, even though she makes the recipes doable* for North American cooks, she also puts in things that don't necessarily seem to appeal to North American expectations.  For example, the peanut and rice porridge doesn't look all that appetizing, but it's in the cookbook anyway because it's unique and delicious.  I was very pleasantly surprised by that dish in particular and it'll be served often in place of rice.

I did use pressed tofu in the chicken with tart garlic sauce because I'm more likely to have tofu in the fridge than chicken (because it lasts longer).  The paneer in tomato sauce was very similar to the Bhutanese cheese curry from Mangoes and Curry Leaves.  I'm not sure which version prefer- maybe I'll make both one night and we'll find out.

Both fish recipes have been amazing.

*I've never quite understood the fetish for authenticity in international dishes. When I'm living in Kyrgyzstan it's impossible for me to cook completely authentic American food (whatever that is).  It's just the way it is.  I also have zero desire in Kyrgyzstan to visit 5 different stores so I can make typical lasagna, just like I'm not about to drive to five different stores in the US to make exactly perfect Pad Thai.  But I also don't want Americanized food (like typical American Chinese restaurant food, or Mexican restaurant). I think that this is my biggest reason why I like Duguid's books- she balances the recipes in a way that works exactly right for me.


  1. Sounds like a great cookbook. What percentage of the recipes have peanuts?

  2. There aren't very many where the peanuts are more than a garnish. I think that at most 10 percent need peanuts to be successful.