Daw Aye Kyaing, 60, has been selling sticky steamed rice at the busy junction of Sanchaung and A Shae Gone streets in Sanchaung township for 15 years.
Her 27-year-old niece Ma Kaythi Win helps to wrap the snacks and take customer orders. Having moved from a town in the Ayeyarwady Region, the family began selling fruit, but the produce rotted quickly and business was slow. Then Daw Aye Kyaing shifted to sticky rice, which was a tough sell to begin with.
Now she has perfected the recipe: soak it nightly in clean water and steam it at the stall, in a holey pot half-filled with water. The trick is carefully and slowly pouring the rice mixture into the pot, and then adding some salt and oil. After half an hour, the yellow treat is ready to be served with green peas and coconut shreds. Black steamed sticky rice is made the same way and is even tastier and more digestible with some sesame seeds sprinkled in. It keeps for three days and Daw Aye Kyaing buys all the ingredients at the night market on her way back to the monastery where she lives.
Her stall sells yellow, black, and white sticky rice with beans at 300 kyats per serving. Daw Aye Kyaing also sells steamed green peas and lablab beans at 400 kyats per serving as well as djenkol beans during the rainy season for only 100 kyats per portion. Sometimes Daw Aye Kyaing is busy with orders, mostly during Myanmar festivals such as Pyatho, Tabodwe, and Tabaung, but otherwise she usually sells about 60,000 kyats worth every day.
Address: Junction of Sanchaung and A Shae Gone streets, Sanchaung township