Sanpiau is another comfort food that is found in all cultures across borders. It is basically a rice congee from the northeastern state of Mizoram. An ethnic form of rice so delicate that it is almost edible once soaked is used to make this preparation. This rice is traditionally simmered with country chicken.
Chef Ankur Chakraborty, co-founder of The Crossing, Dubai, said: “However, we use fresh chicken from local farms in the United Arab Emirates. In the slow cooking process, we add tasty herbs from the region, such as ethnic lemongrass ginger, which resembles galangal. but it’s more ginger.”
He added, “While we were training for the restaurant, some of our team members from Myanmar came across this dish and said it was also called Sanpiao in their home country. The idea of crossing goes beyond borders. The state of Mizoram borders China to the north, Myanmar to the east, and Southeast Asia to the south. In fact, historically, Myanmar was called Burma, a very important trading port and a very important trading city called Rangoon. It was all one great sub-continental India now separated by political borders. Food knows no boundaries and it is so well represented in this dish.”
Here is an exclusive recipe from Chef Ankur Chakraborty, Co-founder of The Crossing, Dubai
- Jasmine rice 100gm
- Water 1.25 liters
- 2 Linden Leaves
- Lemongrass 5gm
- Galangal 8g
- Salt to taste
- Boneless chicken thigh 100 g
For the sambal sauce
- Chopped spring onion 50 g
- Chopped fresh onion 5 g
- Finely chopped fresh ginger 10 g
- Kashmir red chilli paste soaked and glued with dry chilli 10 g
- 15 g chopped fresh coriander leaves
- Sunflower Oil / Garlic Oil 20 ml
- Chilli flakes 5 g
- Soy Souce Light Le Kum Kee 150ml
- Palm vinegar 30 g
- Sugar 1/2g
For the sambal sauce
- Mix all the ingredients and bring to a slow boil.
- Adjust seasoning and let cool for future use.
- Soak the jasmine rice and let it sit overnight.
- Wash the rice under cold running water for 15 minutes and put it in a pot to boil.
- Add all the herbs and chicken thighs.
- Cook gently for about 3 hours, adding water as needed.
- Adjust the salt.
- Serve hot with the addition of sambal sauce and a poached soft-boiled egg.