Monday, February 25, 2013

Burmese Chicken Curry - Chet Tha Sipyan

Curry in Burmese is called ‘Sipyan’ which literally means ‘oil returns’, a sign that the gravy is ready. Although it’s called a curry, very few spices are used.  The color is achieved with the help of tomato paste and the flavor is created by simmering the pureed onion, garlic, red chilli and tomato paste long and slow. Sipyan tastes great cooked with chicken, duck, pork, beef or plain vegetables, served over a bed of Ohn Htamin or Burmese coconut rice.

Serves: 4
Cooking time: 1 hr.

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, each cut in half
¼ tsp. ground turmeric
¼ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large russet potato, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp. tomato paste
1 teaspoon crushed dried chillies or Kashmiri mirch
½ teaspoon paprika
½ tsp. shrimp paste (a.k.a. ngapi)
6 Tbsp. vegetable oil
½ cup simmering chicken broth or water
sliced jalapeno peppers for garnish

1. Marinate first five ingredients for at least 30 mins.
2. Blanch onion and garlic in boiling water.
3. Puree onion, garlic, tomato  & shrimp pastes, chilies or mirch & paprika.
4. Heat 6 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet or wok, over medium high heat.
5. Add pureed onion and cook over medium-low heat until oil resurfaces.
6. Add potatoes, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
7. Add chicken, give it a quick stir then add the simmering broth.
8. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender for about half an hour.
9. Adjust salt to taste and serve with Ohn Htamin (Burmese Coconut Rice).


  1. Burmese recipes are very new to me. Very interesting. Can you suggest some vegetarian substitute for this.

  2. Thank you for dropping by and for becoming a member.

    The chicken in this recipe can be replaced with paneer and the chicken broth with vegetable broth. Also replace the fish sauce and shrimp paste with vegetable bouillon cubes or mushroom paste made by re-hydrating shiitake mushrooms and making a puree with garlic and oil. Please try this out and I'd love to know how it turns out.

  3. Chumkie, , just letting you know that you are in my Featured Food Blog sidebar for March on Carole's Chatter. Have a great week.


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