yellow split pea fritters : hsa*ba, myanmar cookbook

baya kyaw
These yellow split pea fritters regularly feature as an appetiser when a group of friends come over for dinner. They are so easy to make and popular with everyone. I usually pile them on a plate with a spicy sour dip and watch them disappear in minutes. On rare occasions when there are leftovers, they make a quick lunch stuffed in naan bread with chilli sauce and salad.


250g dried yellow split peas, soaked overnight
1 medium onion, finely chopped
handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
peanut oil for deep frying


First prepare the onion, chilli and coriander by chopping them finely, then leave on one side.

Drain the peas and blitz half in a food processor to a coarse consistency, then tip into a bowl. Blitz the remaining half to a smooth paste, adding a little water (no more than 1 tablespoon) to help it along. Mix the two batches together. This will give the fritters a good texture and will stop them splitting during the frying process.

Mix in the chopped onion, chilli, coriander, spices and salt. Make sure all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.

Heat enough oil in a saucepan to deep fry (never fill the pan more than halfway). Scoop a teaspoon of the mixture and work with another teaspoon to form a bite-sized oval shape. Gently drop the fritters one by one into the oil. Deep fry in batches of 6 to 8 fritters on moderate heat. After 2-4 minutes they will turn golden brown.

Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. The yellow split pea fritters are best served warm with sour chilli or tamarind dip.

makes: 30-35 fritters
cooking time: 20-30 mins


They can be made in advance and frozen until needed. When frying the yellow split pea fritters, remove from the oil when they are just beginning to turn golden. Let them cool completely before freezing. When needed, defrost and place under a hot grill for 2-4 minutes on each side to warm through and make them crisp again.


  1. Polly on November 6, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    These are really moorish. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Ei Thu on November 14, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    I am so glad that I found this website while looking through youtube. This is awsome, I can now learn how to make burmese food. =) Thank you for all the recipes and I cannot wait for the videos to be posted.

  3. caesar lwin on December 3, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    when i finding something how to make a burmese foods in youtube, i found this website. this website is really what i want to
    with regards

  4. SL on December 10, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Great website! Just stumbled across your video – I must say that thanks to you, I now realized why my fritters were falling apart – I’ll have to make the other half into smooth paste and mix it together – definitely have to try it next time. I browsed through your cookbook and I can’t wait to get it – it’s a keeper – esp since I love authentic Burmese food but need details on how to prepare each and every recipe that reminds me of Burma. Great job and thanks!

  5. Tony on May 10, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Great site, shall send a few of my recipes to see what you think, went to school in the Shan states [years , no decades ago]. Where are the Balachaung and Gnapi Daun recipes ? Am looking forward to trying out some of your recipes . Am hoping to go back for a visit to Namtu & Bawdwin soon, when its allowed.

    • Cho on May 20, 2009 at 12:27 am

      Hi Tony
      My parents also spent some time in Namtu before I was born. My mother talks fondly about the food she ate there. Balachung and Napi daung are both in the book! There’s a vegetarian version of balachung in the blog too.

      – Cho

  6. The Duo Dishes on May 20, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Love these. A little spicy yogurt on the side, and we’re ready to eat. Lovely.

  7. Soe Naing on May 29, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Mingalarbar khin Byar,

    I’m tryng to make baya kyaw wiith your recipe. Look good. I’m sure it’s very good. Would that be possible to have recipe for ” wet thar doke htoe”. I saw one of the web sites. Look really nice. I ‘d like to try to cook. Thank you so much in advance. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

    Best regards,
    Soe Naing

    • Cho on June 9, 2009 at 7:37 am

      Hi Soe Naing
      I don’t have a recipe for wet thar doke htoe… is it like a salad? Tell me more and I will see if I can find a recipe.

      – Cho

  8. Nay & Nang on September 28, 2009 at 5:47 am

    Dear Cho,
    Thank you for the Baya Kyaw recipe. We couldn’t make it right until we saw the video from your web site. It is really amazing the way you mold Baya Kyaw with spoons. Without that method, Baya Kyaw could be disaster. By the way, we would like to share the way we reduce the oil content; instead of deep frying, we baked on the cookie sheet. It works perfectly. We sprinkle the cookie sheet with oil first, laid the fritters evenly and generously sprinkle with oil on tops. Then, bake in the oven at 275-300F for about 30-35 min. When they look crispy at the bottom, broil for about 5 min. It is really wow! Now we get the Baya Phote ( Phote= Baked) 🙂

  9. Dawn on June 29, 2010 at 3:08 am

    Noone has left a message for quite some time, so I hope the comment board is still active…Thank You so much for the recipies. We have many chin families in our area and a few families have joined our congregation. I was looking for a traditional meal to serve at a picnic we’re having. Not only did you have the wonderful recipies, but also information (like when one would traditionally serve it..breakfast, dinner with friends-baya kyaw). I also like the idea for the baya phote, it not only is healthier but, in these hard economic times, is also less expensive because it uses less peanut oil thandeep frying. Hope you keep up the good and informative work. -Dawn

  10. KIRITKUMAR PANDYA on July 24, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    accidently i came across the website. I am an Indian and spent 10 years in Burma. I love Burma and Burmese food. We tried your receipie yellow split pea fritters and every body enjoyed. Can you give receipie for KHAUSHWE ?

  11. Sayarma ME on December 12, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Mingalarbar, I lived in Myanmar for several years and especially loved eating breakfast out. Though these are not specifically Burmese foods, I would love to know how to make (sorry for the spelling) ijah khwe + peh (fried bread w/ beans) and a spicy green chutney called ‘puseenay’..know what I’m talking about? Know any of the Shan style tofu dishes?

  12. hazel on February 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    this recipe is good – please give me a recipe for burmese napi

  13. Ann on December 22, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I am so happy to have found the website. I had a dream of coming up with the recipes from my home country. You bet me to it and I am so glad. I can’t wait to order the book and try all the recipes. Thank you so much…

  14. hsa*ba: please eat | home-made sweet chilli sauce on November 21, 2013 at 11:25 am

    […] Today I want to use up the red chillies I bought from the market, which have been sitting in the fridge for over a week. I start a batch of sweet chilli sauce. It is quick and easy with none of the additives of shop-bought sauce. I sometimes use this sauce as a dip for baya kyaw. […]