The Rangoon Sisters recipe for khayan jin thee thoke – tomato salad and crunchy peanuts | Food

Jher salad pits crunchy peanuts against bright fresh tomatoes. Use the best quality tomatoes you can buy to get the most out of this dish. It is best made fresh daily and can be served as an accompaniment to a curry or simply with rice.

For 4 people as an accompaniment
unsalted roasted peanuts 50 grams
tomatoes 300g, at room temperature, quartered
green pepper ½, seeded (optional) and thinly sliced
dried shrimp 1 tbsp (optional)
raw shallots 1-2, peeled and thinly sliced
garlic oil 3-5 tablespoons (see below)
lime ½ juice
fish sauce 2 tsp (omit vegetarian, then season with salt)
coriander leaves a small handful
gram flour 1 C. 1/2 tsp, toasted
crispy fried shallots to garnish (store bought or see below), to garnish

For the hsi jet/kyethun phyu kyaw – garlic oil/crispy garlic (for 1 large pot)
Garlic 3 bulbs, peeled cloves
oil 400ml (vegetable, sunflower or peanut)
Turmeric powder 1 teaspoon

For the kyethun hsi/kyethun ni kyaw – shallot oil/crispy fried shallots (for 1 large pot)
shallots 18-20, skinned
oil 400ml (vegetable, sunflower or peanut)

For the pe hmont hlaw – roasted chickpea flour
gram/besan (chickpea) flour 200g

For the garlic oil, separate the garlic cloves, peel them and cut them as finely and evenly as possible. Make yourself comfortable, maybe sit in front of a stupid TV, because that will take time. It can also make your fingers a little hot, so you might want to put on disposable gloves for that. Line a plate with a few sheets of paper towel.

Heat the oil in a medium deep saucepan or wok over medium-high heat. Do not leave the pan unattended. Prepare a colander or heat-resistant sieve to fish out the garlic pieces. Test the preparation of the oil by placing a piece of garlic in it; if it sizzles and rises to the surface within seconds, the oil is ready and you can add all the garlic at once, lowering the heat to low.

Keep a close eye on the garlic, regularly turning the pieces in the oil, being careful not to splatter yourself with hot oil. Turn the heat down if the garlic is coloring quickly – we sometimes remove the pan completely from the heat for about a minute if this is the case. Once the garlic pieces are golden and crisp, remove the pan from the heat.

Collect the crispy pieces of garlic using a colander or a heatproof sieve and transfer them to the plate with kitchen paper to stop the cooking. It doesn’t matter if there are a few bits left in the oil.

Stir the turmeric into the oil and let cool. Once cool, pour the garlic oil into a clean, resealable bottle. You can then return the reserved crispy pieces of garlic to the oil (they will stay crispy) or keep them aside to garnish other dishes.

For the fried shallots and oil, halve the shallots lengthwise, then slice very thinly into half moons, trying to keep the slices as even as possible (otherwise they won’t cook evenly and you will end up with burnt or soggy pieces). Line a plate with a few sheets of paper towel.

Heat the oil in a medium deep saucepan or wok over medium-high heat. Do not leave the pan unattended. Prepare a colander or heat-resistant sieve to fish the shallots. Test the preparation of the oil by placing a piece of shallot in it; if it sizzles and rises to the surface within seconds, the oil is ready.

Add a large handful of shallots to the hot oil. Keep an eye on it and carefully stir the pieces regularly, being careful not to splatter yourself with hot oil. Turn the heat down if they color quickly – we sometimes remove the pan completely from the heat for about a minute if this is the case. Shallots take longer to chew than garlic, probably requiring a few minutes of frying. You will also need to do this in batches – trust us.

Once the shallots are golden brown and crispy, quickly remove them from the oil using a colander or heatproof sieve and transfer them to the plate with paper towel. Continue to fry the shallots in small batches until they are all done, then transfer them to paper towels as before. It doesn’t matter if there are a few bits left in the oil at the end.

Let the oil cool, then pour it into a clean, resealable jar. store crispy shallots in an airtight container to use as a garnish in many recipes.

Shallot oil can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 month. Separated crispy shallots can be stored in an airtight container in a cool place for about a week (after that they tend to lose their crunch).

For toasted gram flour, sift the gram flour into a bowl, as it is usually quite lumpy. Heat a clean, dry frying pan over low-medium heat and add the flour. Stir so that it is evenly distributed and continue to stir intermittently, to ensure even toasting. It will start to smell slightly nutty and turn slightly brown after about 5 minutes. It may clump a little, which is normal; you can always sift it again if it’s particularly lumpy. Pour into a bowl and let cool before storing in an airtight container. It should keep well for 3 months.

For the salad, crush the peanuts using a pestle and mortar or blend a few times in a food processor (to the size of the chips you get in a store-bought peanut butter crunch).

Place the tomatoes, chilli, crushed peanuts and the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Ideally, do this with clean hands to mix all the ingredients well. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more fish sauce or chili if needed.

Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the crispy shallots.

From The Rangoon Sisters by Amy Chung & Emily Chung (Ebury£22)

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