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Vegetable Khow Suey: The quick way

Burmese Vegetarian Khow Suey

Khow suey has made a way to Indian kitchens but it isn't really an Indian dish. It is a Burmese pot dish with noodles & a lot of veggies. This soup dish is made with the base of coconut milk. It is originally a Burmese dish that came to India with people who migrated to East India during World War II.

My first memory of Khow Suey is when my mom made this for us with regular ramen noodles in the hope that we would probably develop taste for something far better & healthier than just the regular ramen noodles. One spoon of this & there hasn't been any looking back ever since.

There are a lot of time when we do crave for such kind of meals but we do not have such liberty of time to do the elaborate preparation. For such times, this quick fix recipe can be used & it will taste equally good, I promise!  This is my attempt to simplify all these time taking recipes without losing its essence but if you are someone who would rather take time but do it the right/authentic way, then read the original recipe here.

Please note: There will be no paste in this & hence we will be adding all of the ingredients directly to the pan. Here’s the list of ingredients that you will need for this preparation.

Do use vegetables of your choice. You can reduce the no of vegetables that you add to this curry. I generally use the ones that are easy to cut or are available either in my refrigerator or the nearby grocery store.  


  • 4-5 baby corn diced in circular fashion (boil them along with other vegetables for easy pan cooking)

  • 1/2 cup peas (boil them so that it can be easily cooked in the pan)

  • 1 medium orange carrot, peeled and sliced in small rectangles (This can also be boiled along with baby corn & peas but if you cut them in small rectangles then you don’t have to boil it)

  • A cup of cauliflower small florets

  • A cup of broccoli small florets 

  • 1 yellow zucchini, sliced and halved with skin (small semi circles)

  • 5-6 French/ haricot beans, sliced diagonally (again, do adjust the quantity as per your liking)

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 8-10 small sliced tofu. Tofu is a coagulated soy milk. It’s different from Paneer. I have seen some Indian homes using Paneer instead of Tofu but usually in South East Asian cooking Tofu is widely used.

  • A cup of peppers/ capsicum (green, red & yellow). I like to add more of peppers & less of other veggies. This also gives a good colour to the curry.

  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms

  • 1 Tbsp oil (Prefer sesame seed oil but any regular oil would do)

  • 3 Green chillis (optional)

  • 4-5 Red chillis

  • 1 medium finely chopped onion

  • 2 cups coconut milk

  • Salt to taste

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • Noodles : I generally use one set of it. The noodles usually come in nicely bonded sets. If you don’t have such noodles use around 120 grams of the noodles or 3 cups. Boil it with some salt. 

  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped garlic

  • 1 1/2 inches ginger, finely chopped

  • 1 1/2 inch finely chopped stalk of lemongrass (this is also optional although it does gives a nice aroma to the whole dish)

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tbsp coriander powder

  • 1 Tbsp oil

  • 2 Tbsp gram flour (this is added to thicken the curry)

  • 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk

  • Salt to taste

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • Crushed black peppercorns to taste

  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts

I am sure you know that lesser the veggies you use, the lower will be the preparation time, also you wouldn’t have to separately boil them. 

Cooking method

  1. Heat some oil in the pan. This can be regular vegetable oil or sesame seed oil, if that’s available.

  2. Add some grated garlic to it when the oil is moderately heated, saute it for a min

  3. Add some chopped/grated ginger to it.

  4. You can add green chillis to this. This step is optional

  5. Add red chillis to the pan. These are all dried red chillis. You can remove the seeds of both the chillis if you don’t want to increase the pungency. 

  6. Add onions to it now & saute them till it becomes light brown.

  7. Add lemon grass to this. This will give it a beautiful aroma.

  8. Add the veggies to the pan & stir fry it for a min. Keep stirring it regularly.

  9. Add the spices like turmeric & coriander powder. Keep stirring this. 

  10. Add the coconut milk on low flame & keep whisking it. Add some water to it & keep stirring it for around 2 mins.

  11. In a separate bowl mix the gram flour with the a 2 tbsp of coconut milk. Keep whisking it till the lumps are removed. We do not generally add gram flour/ besan directly to the curry as removing the lumps become an unnecessary hassle. We are including besan in this recipe as this will help in thickening the consistency of the curry. Add this mixture to the pan now.

  12. Add sugar & salt to the curry now. You may now turn off the heat.

  13. Heat sufficient water in the different deep non-stick pan & add a little salt to it. Add noodles when it is sufficiently hot. Boil the noodles for 3-5 mins on medium flame. Please note: The best type of noodles to be used for this is rice noodles or rice vermicelli however, you can use regular noodles too.

  14. Drain the noodles & put some cold water to it so that the noodles don’t become sticky. Transfer it to another bowl.

  15. Your noodles & curry is ready, now we need to serve/ plate this. Take a deep bowl & add noodles to it, put the curry over the top of the noodles, put the garnishing that we have discussed above to this. If you do not have time for a lot of toppings, do serve this with lemon slices, chilli flakes, coriander & spring onions. Do include these toppings at the top of Khow suey & enjoy :)

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