We are celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month all through May. We recognize and are thankful for the many contributions, achievements, and influence the AAPI community has and continues to have on American history and culture. Each week we will be posting two fun an educational ways to learn and celebrate members of the AAPI community. This week we are highlighting Southeast Asia.

Amentha Net Aloo Hin – Burmese Beef and Potato Curry

This week we dove into Southeast Asia. Probably one of my favorite recipes so far! It was just what I needed, comfort in a bowl. This recipe came from the book Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon. This book had SO MUCH it was hard to choose. The original book by Soloman came out in 1976 and was iconic, influential, and a comprehensive view of Asian cuisine. The version I have is more modern after the book had been broken up geographically into six volumes. My copy contains recipes from Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Burma. It had all the places I wanted to go (culinarily speaking). It is still an older cookbook, not chock full of the mouthwatering glossy images of modern-day books. Every book introduces the culture, ingredients, cooking methods and of course the food of the countries. There are notes on many of the recipes for different preferences and alternative ways to cook the dish.

This book was indeed a labor of love. I am so glad Charmaine shared her passion for Asian food and culture with us. You will taste it in the food you make from this book.

Myanmar (Burma) Sport: Chinlone or Caneball

This beloved sport of Myanmar is said to be over 1,000 years old. Chinlone resembles a hacky-sack and is played with a small woven ball made from rattan (a woody vine). There are a few common ways to play chinlone. One way consists of six players standing in a circle. They juggle the ball with their feet and head while continuously moving. One player may stand in the middle of the ring to perform specialty moves like 360 spins before kicking and passing the ball. Another way to play is very similar to volleyball, except that everyone hits the ball soccer-style, which means that using your hands is not allowed. The last way is a solo performance, and this is usually played chiefly by women. An individual is performing and showing off their unique skills to an audience. No matter the version, the game ends when the ball hits the ground, or someone uses their hands. Caneball looks simple, but it does skills and endurance to do. Try your hand at caneball by creating your woven paper ball. Click below for instructions.

Please feel free to share if you make one or both the Amentha Net Aloo Hin or caneball (did you try to play as well?). We would love to know how they turned out. You can share with us by commenting below, on our social media using #kckpl, or you can email us directly at cmcgee@kckpl.org or mwolford@kckpl.org. We look forward to sharing many more ways to celebrate AAPI Month with you all!

–Chantel & Maddie from Main Library