You might have already read several posts or articles about taking Myanmar luxury tours during Thingyan, covering from its origin, itinerary to survival guide. In this one, we will have an exploration from a different perspective: THINGYAN FOOD. Food and special treats in this Burmese Water Festival are very unique and it is a must-try to any travelers.
Myanmar is a wonder land of various festivals, each of which is famous for its own unique food. Whether you are a local or a foreign used to join water fights, you will feel it like missing essential part if you have not tasted any special treats during the festival. In other words, this is definitely one of best things to do in Myanmar.
Shwe-yin-aye & Mont-lat-saung
Shwe-yin-aye and Mont-lat-saung are among most favorite desserts or sweet snacks in Thingyan. Even they are sometimes grouped together, they are different.
From Myanmar travel guide, you can learn that Mont-lat-saung only has one type of jelly, and no bread or sticky rice. In different regions across Myanmar, the jelly has different colors – either green or white – and the sauces will be not the same, too. For example, while the locals in Southern Myanmar usually have the dish with white jelly and jaggery caramel sauce, Yangon and Mandalay residents enjoy green jelly and icy coconut milk. Jelly in Mont-lat-saung is not actually made from agar like regular jelly, but just little bits of sticky rice pounded and squeezed to get the particular shape.
Mont-lat-saung is considered to be best of the best for Myanmar luxury tours during Thingyan because its sweetness can cool people down after hours of water fights under the hottest weather in the year. It is somehow perfect. It is a good choice to enjoy it with ice-cold coconut milk over white bread, sticky rice and different colors of assorted jellies. You can take jellies in all different shapes – strings, neatly cut squares, little spheres, anything you like.
Mont-lone-yay-paw is the most popular dish in Thingyan. In other words, it is the symbol that features the festival. You will find almost every home and people get together to cook it, take it and share it with others, just like they do with water splashes. Probably, the way it’s made helps Mont-lone-yay-paw to become the iconic treat during the festival and it’s worth trying in your Myanmar cruises.
To start with, rice flour and sticky rice flour are mixed together into a dough with a particular texture. Afterward, the dough is broken down into little pieces and jaggery* is readily added to the center. Then the pieces are rolled and rolled into little balls, making sure that the sweet center is sealed. The dough balls are boiled for about 3-4 minute in a pot of water. When the dough balls are thoroughly cooked, they float to the surface. The cooked pieces are then washed in cold water before being served.
The cooking process like that requires a lot of energy and patience, so groups of people come together to prepare mont-lone-yay-paw. In this way, it is an valuable chance for family members and friends being together. Now, everyone can bond while making and eating this perfect family food. You should join this, it’s truly what to do in Myanmar.
Besides some mischievous souls fancy putting hot fresh chilies inside instead of jagger. They want to play a prank on others. Of course, you just cannot get mad at anyone who plays such prank because this festival has been made for merry-making for a long time. In Myanmar, just get ready to be served Mont-lone-yay-paw of chili bomb even you are on luxury tours.
This dish is born to make everyone fall in love of porridge, no matter how much they hate it and want it to disappear. Thingyan hta-minn is rice cooked in…scented water. Yes, you heard right! it is cooked rice in scented water
It is a legitimate food in the Mon state. Rice is cooked and then washed to get a fluffy and light texture. Sandalwood is burnt with a wax candle and is then infused with ice-cold water, to give it a fragrant smell. Afterward, this sandalwood water is poured on top of the rice. You can eat this rice with various other dishes like dried fish, fried chilies, assorted pickled salads and other savory dishes. The pickled mango salad is advisable if you want to taste the perfect balance of saltiness, spiciness, and tanginess.
Thingyan hta-minn can be described as the plain rice which is cold but pleasingly fragrant and it is definitely a must-try if you are ever in Myanmar excursions, especially around Mon state during the festival.
You might have tried many kinds of dishes in Myanmar, but the three Thingyan festival season special treats during Myanmar luxury tours will run in your blood and you can find it hard to leave Myanmar.