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Mingun Tomato Salad Recipe

recipe for Mingus tomato salad

This tomato salad is inspired by one I ate in a garden café, looking over the Ayerwaddy river, in Mingun, a small town north west of Mandalay in Myanmar in the spring of 2019.

Myanmar salads – with their mix of textures and strong flavours – were a revelation to me, especially in their use of peanuts and shrimp along with the toasted gram flour which thickens the dressing into a sauce. This is a salad that will stand up to being served with curries, as well as on its own. Sometimes - because of the gram flour that is already included - I add in some cooked chickpeas to make the dish more substantial.

I now make this salad right through the summer, sometimes it is with just red tomatoes but when my own tomatoes are fruiting, I use a more authentic mix of red and green. Getting a supply of unripe green tomatoes, unless you know a gardener, can be slightly tricky. Some greengrocers sell them in September and the boxes of tomatoes from Crowdfarming usually come as a mix.

But if you do grow tomatoes - especially in Scotland - then this is the perfect recipe for the end of summer. It makes a virtue of all those last tomatoes which are reluctant to ripen on the vine.

I would suggest making a double batch of the toasted gram flour and the crispy onions and storing half to use another day.

recipe for Myanmar tomato salad


  • 20g Gram Flour
  • 6-8 tomatoes – a mix of red and green is ideal - chopped into 2 cm chunks or halved if cherry tomatoes.
  • 1 red onion or shallot sliced finely
  • Peanut oil – 3 tbs
  • 1 small clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli finely sliced
  • 2 tsp dried shrimp powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp roasted peanut chopped roughly
  • Juice half a lime
  • 2 tsp fish sauce (optional)
  • small bunch coriander chopped


Method: Begin by making the toasted gram flour If you are likely to make a lot of Myanmar food (and I hope you do) you can increase the quantities of this and store it in a jar for three months. I would make at least 100g at a time as it is easier to control the cooking and stop it cooking too much.

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add the flour.

Stir it around continuously until it begins to smell nutty and then remove from the heat immediately and pour it onto a plate to cool.

In a small frying pan fry ¾ of the onion in the peanut oil until it has coloured and gone crispy.

Drain the oil off and reserve for the dressing and dry out the crispy onions as a garnish.

Combine the tomatoes, garlic, chilli, peanuts, raw onions and shrimp powder in the salad bowl. Add the gram flour, lime juice, fish sauce and 2 tbsp of the onion oil.

Taste and season - if you have not used fish sauce add salt. Garnish with coriander and the crispy onions.

Serve with a curry, rice or on its own as part of a selection of dishes.

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A few people have asked for a list of the restaurants in Hvar that we loved best. To be honest we didn’t have a single bad meal - the food is beautifully sourced and cooked, informal, seasonal delicious. But there were a few places that were particularly good. 

First if you are flying into Zadar airport and have time to spend in the town then @konobastomoricazadar is worth a visit. The cuttlefish and chickpea soup/stew was the best thing I’ve eaten this year. 

In Hvar itself @konobamenego is a cosy restaurant with a great menu of traditional food, including vegetarian options, we shared a plate of marinated fish (eel I think) and then I had courgettes and aubergines in a sweet and sour sauce prepared to a family recipe. Go early as once they are full that’s  it, there is no squashing in extra sittings, the kitchen staff need time off. I loved this. 

Our nearest town was Stari Grad and we lived @antikastarigrad - tables set outside so we could people watch, great food. Celery and smoked mussel soup with pine nuts 👌🏻

The dog is the photo was snapped at #konobahumac - a deserted hilltop village which featured in last week’s Friday film. There is a small restaurant with a wood fired kitchen - you can either order 24 hours in advance for traditional dishes cooked under a dome or have simple grilled meats and salads. Simplicity is wonderful. 

I’ll continue this in the comments.
Back from holiday, looking a little less frazzled than my pre-holiday photo and I'm trying to keep it like that (which is why Instagram posts are now in the afternoon - I'm reading in the morning).
In this week's Friday film I talk about the difficulty that I've always had in not working while on holiday and why that is a great mistake and what changed this year.
For me getting proper rest is important for living my best life.  It isn't a sneaky productivity trick - I don't want to rest on holiday so that I can work more efficiently when I get home.  I want to rest so that I can feel more alive, stand taller, be more vibrant.
I've also added in a film of the sea, a courtyard garden and a deserted hilltop village to show you why Hvar is one of the best places to go if you need a little relaxation.  The link is in stories.

#hvar #mudridolac #smallbusiness
This is a woman who is about to head off on holiday but has packed absolutely nothing.

Today’s Friday film is out - I’ll post the link in stories - and it’s all about why I’m deleting social media apps while I’m away, what is the kind of ‘work’ that I find revitalising on holiday and what stops me relaxing. And a tour of what I actually do day to day (minus the boring bits). 

Here till 5pm today and then away for a couple of weeks. 

Knitting is #heirloomquiltcardigan by @katrynseeburger
I seem to have spent this year writing about plants that have turned out to not be what they were meant to be . .  but that I have grown to love more than whatever it was I thought I wanted.

There were meant to be Hopi black dye sunflowers, Tceqa' Qu' Si, (Helianthus annuus macrocarpus). They clearly are not.

I've never actually grown giant sunflowers - and these tower over the sweet pea tunnel, gawky, heads bowed.

I love them.  The birds will love them even more.
I'm not really a person who is very good at theory.  I'm not enthused by swatches.  I was never good at experiments in science class.

I mean I appreciate the science in botanical dyeing, and I really, really appreciate the people whose brains work that way, but it just isn't me.

I love the process but even more I love the result.

I think that the most obvious example of this is the ongoing knitted blanket - three stripes from every plant that I try dyeing with in the garden.  A record of sorts. The best I can do.

At the moment a lot of the dyeing and making and embroidering that I do is centered around clothes - bought second hand and made more beautiful. I'm inspired by @prophet_of_bloom and @thedogwooddyer and they way they wear their creativity.

I've bought this silk camisole from Vinted (it was described as vintage but I refuse to believe that the 1990s are vintage). I've now dyed it with fresh indigo for my younger daughter, a mermaid blue, gently mottled teal.

The photos of the process are up on my blog - last night I gave it another coat of leaves so I am now waiting for it to dry to check the colour before I post it to Katie.

#botanicaldye #naturaldyeing #prelovedclothes
In the early summer this rose - nicknamed the
This week's all about managing my energy - I go on holiday in a week and traditionally I've been terrible at pacing myself in the run up to a break.
Everything seems to get out of hand and pile up on my desk, leaving me exhausted and crabby. 
This year I'm determined not to let that happen so I'm building in plenty of the things that I know buoy me up into my days - rest, creativity, nature.
The rest and the making are being combined in making squares for the Heirloom Quilt Cardigan - a wonderful pattern by @katrynseeburger - which I'm knitting in a linen/bamboo yarn that I botanically dyed a couple of years ago and have been hoarding ever since.
You can see what I'm on about in stories . . . .
Often people tell me that they would love to learn to dye with plants but they don't have a garden, or they worry about foraging for plants or that they run out of time and never get around to it.
I completely get that. I am the same.  Life is busy and unless things are easy I often let the desire slide.
It is why I am spending time each day drying out the dye plants that I grow here and packing them up into sealable envelopes - each decorated with a drawing.
I want to make it easier for people to try out botanical dyeing with a wider range of plants than is generally available.  So far I've been packing up willowherb and dahlia flowers alongside the more traditional marigold and dyer's chamomile.
I'm not completely sure what form this will all eventually take - kits that make everything easy perhaps, possibly a 'workshop in a box' kind of thing.  I'm currently trying to work out all the practicalities while prioritising making sure the flowers and leaves are packaged properly so that they won't spoil while I work out the details.
At some point, if you are on my newsletter list, you will no doubt get an email with some questions in it! 
But in the meantime let me know what you think - what would you value in a botanical dyeing kit? Help me make something that will inspire people to create something beautiful.

#dyersofinstagram #botanicaldye #botanicaldyersofinstagram #tagetesdye

About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life I help bring the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

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