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Tabodwe And Htamane

With the eleventh month of the Burmese (Myanmar) calendar, the month of Tabodwe (January/February), has arrived. As it’s rice harvesting time this can be a very busy month for Burma’s rural inhabitants. Tabodwe can also be an vital month for each nation and folks since rice is the Burmese folks’s staple weight loss program. Rice performs, subsequently, an immensely vital function with respect to a enough and wholesome diet of the Burmese inhabitants.

Now everywhere in the nation rice is harvested and there may be not a lot time for celebrations. But, Tabodwe can also be a joyful time that finds it end result within the harvesting competition, Burma’s equal to Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day as it’s known as in North America. Sufficient rice implies that the folks should not starve. So, the time of rice harvesting isn’t solely a time of exhausting work but additionally pleasure.

This competition is named ‘Htamane’ after the particular meals providing that’s cooked and eaten at the moment. This provides ladies essentially the most welcome alternative to supply proof of their cooking expertise. Htamane consists of glutinous rice, coconut (shredded), peanut or cooking oil, peanuts (husk eliminated), ginger (sliced), sesame and salt.

There are 3 ways wherein the htamane – or rice cooking competition as it’s also known as – is often celebrated. These are within the non-public household circle or along with chosen associates and neighbours or communally. No matter approach is chosen to have fun htamane it all the time means a giant, completely satisfied gathering as a result of many palms are wanted to get all the mandatory work finished. There are many issues that must be finished; from the getting ready of the substances of htamane to the cooking itself. The rice grains and the sesame seeds need to be winnowed, the rice to be correctly washed and soaked, the coconut shells to be damaged, the fibres eliminated, the water/milk poured out and the pulp to be shredded/sliced, the peanuts have to be shelled and the husk eliminated, the ginger must be peeled and sliced, and so forth and so forth.

Cooking htamane is difficult work because the extraordinarily sticky htamane that – if, for example, the feast is widely known along with a bigger variety of folks – is cooked in large iron bowls or pots on wooden or charcoal hearth and should for a interval of about half an hour be completely crashed and stirred with lengthy wood ladles. Nevertheless, this a part of the cooking course of is – though monitored and supervised by the ladies – carried out by two or three males concurrently because it requires appreciable power.

Whereas performing their soporific job the lads are sheered on and inspired with shouts by onlookers and sometimes the beat of dobats performed by dobat troupes. When the primary batch of htamane is prepared and the primary serving to is obtainable to Gautama Buddha and pongyis the exhausted members of the cooking workforce sit all the way down to benefit from the fruits of their exhausting labour and the following cooking workforce takes over, then the following, and so forth.

Within the following I gives you a extra detailed description of how the cooking of htamane works; you could strive your self to do it.

Step one is to provide the peanut oil into the pot and fry the ginger and coconut one after the opposite. Don’t forget to pressure the oil after every frying. Then you definitely put aside the fried coconut and ginger slices. The subsequent step is to take about half of the peanut oil off the pot.

Then, in comes the rice, which was about two hours earlier than washed after which put into clear water to soak until it’s put into the pot with the remaining peanut oil. Water is added after which the rice should cook dinner. About 30 minutes later the rice is tender and after a number of the fried coconut and ginger is put apart for later use, to embellish the helpings of htamane served that’s, the entire substances – besides the sesame – are added to the rice. Some folks do at this stage take away the pot from the fireplace because the htamane can simply burn when it stays on the fireplace and isn’t stirred very, very correctly. Nevertheless, the style is a lot better when the pot stays on the fireplace till the htamane is prepared. Each methods have in widespread that now the stirring act begins. The rice is first kneaded and crashed between the wood ladles and correctly blended with the substances whereas the mass is getting ever stickier in order that on the finish it takes nice power to make the htamane yield to the ladles.

The final and best half is the sprinkling of the sesame seeds. This – so it’s stated – wants nice ability because the flavour of the htamane relies on the particular person sprinkling the seeds handful by handful in common intervals into the htamane whereas the sturdy males do the exhausting work to stir and blend the very gluey mass with their ladles. When the final sesame is sprinkled within the htamane is prepared and the pot faraway from the fireplace.

By the by, ‘sprinkling sesame seeds’ is a Burmese idiom that’s disparagingly used for placing the ending touches to one thing after the heavy and/or soiled predominant work was finished by others. So, when, for example, you might be including some condiments to already cooked meal that to be ready and cooked took your mom (or spouse) hours you might be ‘sprinkling sesame seeds’. This idiom may be utilized to any form of work and isn’t confined to cooking.

When the htamane is prepared it’s divided into helpings (which works finest with a spoon or knife dipped into oil in order that the htamane doesn’t stick), properly embellished with shreds and slices of the fried coconut and ginger and with sesame seeds and served. The style of htamane is… , effectively, all I can say is, “Hmmm, yummy, yummy.” And it is vitally wealthy; you don’t want very a lot of it to have had your fill.

The standard solution to serve it’s on a correctly washed and with cooking oil rubbed banana leaf. Custom issues tremendously in Burma what reveals in lots of facets of Burmese folks’s everyday-lives because it permeates and sometimes even controls them.

Particularly in rural areas the rice is usually nonetheless cooked in earthen pots with a humped lit. This has the impact that when the rice is prepared it has a peak-shaped prime (known as crown). This ‘crown’ is the choicest a part of the rice. It’s fastidiously faraway from the remainder of the rice and in response to an previous custom put aside and reserved for meals providing to Gautama Buddha and pongyis. This custom is named ‘prime precedence for these to whom respect is due’ and a customized nonetheless practised.

Supply by Markus Burman

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