Myanmar Sweets

I am a future diabetes patient, with an almost nerdy love for sweets. And part of my enjoyment here in Myanmar is exploring its little known desserts. Here are some of them in pictures


Mon Pya Lu (မုန်ပြာလူ) : I’ve written about them enough already!


Htanyet (ထန်းလျက်ခဲ), jaggery made with toddy palm sap. This is often nicknamed ‘Burmese chocolate,’ but tastes nothing like chocolate. It is intensely sweet and is often served with tea, but I prefer it with milk.


Nga Chatae: black rice in coconut milk


Assorted Burmese cakes. Clockwise from top: Sanwin Ma Kin (ဆနွင်းမကင်း, semolina cake), Kyauk Kyaw (ကျောက်ကျေား, agar cakes), Kauk Nyin (ကောက်ညင်း, sticky rice cakes), Nga Pyaw Sanwin Ma Kin (ငှက်ပျောဆနွင်းမကင်း sanwin ma kin made with red banana)


Assorted Indian sweets, including some jalebi (caramelized pretzels) and gulab jamun (custard balls in syrup) in the bowl


A colourful assortment of barfi (Indian hard milk sweets, analogous to Filipino pastillas), including some made with gram flour (the yellow ones)


Samain (စမိုင်), a pudding made of vermicelli in sweet coconut milk, flavoured with cumin and garnished with some berries. It’s associated with the local Indian Muslim population


Assorted kyauk kyaw: the purple ones are taro flavoured, the white ones coconut flavoured. I do not want to decide which is more delicious.


More kyauk kyaw, this time with the orange ones orange flavoured. Also mixed in is Pu Htin, egg custard cakes


Two kinds of halawa (semolina pudding, mixed with poppy seeds) from Pathein (they were selling some in the streets here in Taunggyi): the original  with butter and the dried version


Clockwise from the top: the dried and buttery halawa, Burmese mooncake, mon pya lu.


Htou mont: cake that ranges from chewy to creamy-crumbly to jelly-like, topped with dried fruits and nuts. This is a delicacy of Mandalay


Fried bread with condensed milk


Hpa Yon Yo (ဖရုံယို): crystallized white gourd. They look (and sound) like tiny slabs of jade. These beautiful sweets are an Inle specialty.


Clockwise from the top: Mon kalame (မုန်ကလမ, Burmese dodol), two different kinds of htou mont (with nuts, and with sweet semolina paste), halawa, with hpa yon yo at the center.


Another kind of htou mont, this time dusted with coconut powder and chewy with coconut. At the back is Ee Kya Kway  (အီကြာ‌ကွေး, Burmese youtiao)


rice cakes in banana leaf (analogous to Filipino suman)


Khawpouk (ခေါပုတ်), rice cakes pounded and topped with sesame seeds and usually served fried. This is an Akhar delicacy.


Mon loun (မုန်လုံး): balls of rice flour, sugar, and milk. Somewhere between starchy bread and polvoron.


Lassi (yogurt milk shake) with jaggery (palm sugar syrup)


Mon Unauk (မုန်ဦးနှောက်): literally ‘brain sweet,’ glutinous rice paste in banana leaf, served with coconut cream and sugar

This list will continue to expand and be updated as I discover more sweets and learn more of those which are already here. I am thankful to all the local students, teachers, and SAG staff who treat me to these treats, and who will probably help me expand this list and my waistline.

God have mercy on my blood sugar.


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