The cover image of the cookbook is a plate of bright orange crabs sitting in the kitchen of my Aunt’s house. It was a wonderful meal of crab with a dipping sauce of soy sauce, lime juice, crushed garlic and green chillies. Here’s the story behind it.
This photograph is a reminder of our visit to Ananda Pagoda in Bagan. We spent an afternoon sitting quietly on the cool tiled floor, attempting to blend in with the locals. A number of novice monks stood motionless in meditation, while worshippers went about their daily routine.
After a day in the back of a car, travelling along bumpy roads with hardly any loo-stops, we arrived at Nyaung Shwe, a town at the edge of Inle Lake. This fresh water lake is in Shan State, a place my mother remembers fondly. Before I was
born, she lived in the Shan hills with my father for a couple of years before returning to Rangoon.
Inle Lake is on most tourist circuits, known for the water villages where Intha people live in houses built on stilts and fisherman have a unique way of rowing a boat with one leg. After a day of sightseeing, my focus was back on food and on top of my list was Shan noodles.
The dazzling golden glow of Shwedagon stupa rising up to illuminate the vast night sky of Rangoon is an unforgettable sight. To me it is a symbol of home.
Visiting the pagoda was a favourite family day out, to make offerings of flowers, candles and prayer flags in honour of Buddha. Encased deep within the shrine, there are said to be eight sacred hairs of Buddha. Pilgrims from all over the country come to pay homage, especially on auspicious religious days and at least once in their lifetime.