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Grandma in Living Color

February 5, 2009

Alvina and Alyssa Mangrai by you.

Alvina and her granddaughter Alyssa making Burmese salad.


I have been so blessed to have met and cooked with a wonderful array of women in the process of researching and writing The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook. Learning priceless nuggets of culinary wisdom was one thing, but the experience has also lessened the void of not knowing my own grandmothers. My maternal grandmother died of breast cancer before I was born and my paternal grandmother lived in an entirely different country. Now I have over a dozen surrogate grandmas!


Alvina Mangrai, is one of those amazing women. Alvina is my friend Manda’s mom. She migrated from Burma in 1972 and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a fascinating story (not the least the fact that she married a prince) and you can read all about her when my cook book comes out in September ’09. In the meantime, meet Alvina as she teaches her granddaughter Alyssa to cook in this video from, the first in a series called “Cooking with Grandma.” (BTW, if you live in the Bay Area and would like to feature your grandma, email Meredith Arthur.) You’ll also find Alvina’s yummy recipes for prawn curry and coconut rice on the Web site.



p/s Welcome visitors please explore my blog and leave a comment to tell me what you think!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2014 7:43 pm

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  2. May 1, 2014 4:47 pm

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  3. Diana Delgado permalink
    January 22, 2014 12:53 pm

    Hi! I’m Diane. I work in a tv network. Seeing your picture together only sees the you are perfect for our theme to be aired anytime soon. Pls do sent me an email on how to get in touch with you. Here’s my email address
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  4. April 10, 2009 12:40 am

    Pat, what a great thing this is! When I saw that you had helped to bring this video to fruition I was so excited. I happened upon the CHOW video randomly and was so touched by the whole concept. It’s just wonderful. I think I’ll nominate my own grandma!

  5. March 14, 2009 4:37 pm

    It’s great to have all those wonderful surrogate grandmothers around you! Will have to try to make the prawn curry soon.

    • March 22, 2009 1:36 pm

      It is wonderful, especially since I never knew my grandmas too well. My maternal grandma died before I could remember and my paternal grandm lived in a different country. Hope you enjoy the prawn curry.

  6. Danette permalink
    March 2, 2009 11:35 pm

    Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

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  7. February 28, 2009 6:30 pm

    What a great video! I hope you have the recipe for burmese salad in your cookbook, although I’ll get it either way…

  8. February 28, 2009 8:59 am

    Fabulous blog idea, and I would so buy the cookbook!

    Can we please get an authentic Burmese recipe for khao soi, pretty please?? I love my mom’s very Indianized version with ginger-garlic paste and chickpea flour but have never been able to figure out the original recipe.

    • March 4, 2009 11:31 am

      Hi Mango Girl, I’ll see if I can find a khao soi recipe for you. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. February 9, 2009 11:59 am

    Great video, and wonderful idea for the series. Congrats on your collaboration with Chow!

  10. February 9, 2009 9:30 am

    LOVE the video and the Grandma…and will try the recipes tonight. I look forward to the cookbook release date – great idea!


  1. Last Chance Tomatoes in a Burmese-Style Salad « The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook

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