by Carol Rudy
Desserts are a universal treat – no one can say no to them. Desserts in Myanmar are distinctive and addictive in the sweetest way. With plenty of palm sugar involved, these sweet delights are the perfect finishing touch to a hearty local meal. These treats are mostly influenced by Indian cuisine, but this gives Myanmar desserts a flavourful twist that always tempts tourists for more.
Shwe Yin Aye
Imagine walking along the streets of Yangon for hourxs, with the hot sun mercilessly beating down on your exhausted body. Shwe Yin Aye, a type of iced dessert popular in Myanmar will be perfect to quench your thirst. This milky dessert tastes heavenly with the balanced mix of sticky rice, coconut milk jelly, palm sugar, tapioca seeds and ice. Have one bowl of this heavenly dessert by the roadside and you will find yourself recharged again for a whole new adventure.
This is a traditional Myanmar sweet that is inspired by semolina desserts from India. You can easily find them sold on the street. You will also notice the mouth-watering sweet scent of coconut milk and sugar before you even spot the cake stall. The half-crispy, half-fluffy texture of this sweet topped with poppy sweets is dangerously addictive.
Myanmar is famous for its palm sugar, which is why jaggery is a huge craze in the country. Made from sugarcane, these little jaggery spheres are simple and yummy sweets perfect for those who prefer lighter desserts. You can pop one or two jaggery sweets in your mouth, let them melt, and savour the natural sweetness and an energy boost. They are also available with coconut flakes and black sesame seeds.
Nothing feels better than sipping on a cool, thirst-quenching glass of yoghurt in the unbearable Myanmar heat. This simple yet delicious drink is popular among tourists and the locals who drink this as a cooling agent. The drink is modified with a Myanmar twist, so you will taste the fragrant flavour of palm sugar syrup instead of the ordinary sweetness of plain sugar. If you are feeling adventurous, add sticky rice, coconut flakes and chocolate fudge into your yoghurt. Be warned, it will be super sweet!
Jangiri is a sweet made from milk and flour. To achieve a pleasant, sweet flavour, these jangiri balls are then soaked in sugar syrup. Originating from India, jangiri has found its spot among locals and tourists’ favourite desserts, making this a tasty and well-loved hybrid of Myanmar-Indian dessert.
Laddu is another Indian dessert that has made its way to the palate of Myanmar people and tourists in the country. Made of semolina flour, ghee and sugar, this ball-shaped dessert comes in assorted flavours such as chocolate, strawberry and milk. The size of this dessert also varies, with the smallest being the size of a lollipop. It is the most convenient dessert to pick if you prefer walking around the market while savouring a sweet snack.
To fully experience Myanmar is to try its famous sweets and desserts. Tourists can easily find these sweets shops along the streets of Myanmar and night markets. Some locals are even friendly enough to let you sample on the desserts before purchasing as long as you ask politely. These desserts are only available in Myanmar, especially those that are made upon order, so don’t miss out on any of them!