Ms. Chanlon – A garden full of surprises
About the host
Ms Chanlon is a 72 year old mother who was born and raised in Battambang. During the Khmer Rouge period she had to leave the city with her six children and stay at the countryside. When the nightmare was over, she was able to return to the land she inherited from her grandmother. There, she build a house for herself and her children. Two daughters are still with her, two are married and live with their own family, and two boys also left the house. Together with her daughter Mony she operates a homestay, a vast garden with many fruits and herbs and likes to cook for guests.
You will see the fish amok prepared already when you arrive, because Ms. Chanlons Battambang Amok takes nearly an hour to be prepared. She uses a special chilli paste on top, but it’s not really spicy. You will also notice the leaves on the bottom of the steamed fish curry. In this authentic cooking class in Battambang you will make all the dishes together with the hosts.
This local dish is kind of a thick soup made from coconut milk, long bean and eggplant. It can be done with pork, chicken or fish.
Fresh spring rolls
What is sometimes called Summer rolls is a dish from Vietnamese origin but very popular in Cambodia as well. You learn how to soak the rice paper in water first, the lay the ingredients on it and make it a nice roll.
Note: The spring rolls and the tomatoes can be make in a vegetarian version, the fish amok unfortunately not.
After arriving in the house in Battambang’s north (5 min rom the center) you will first get an introduction into a local outside kitchen and start preparing the first dish. The host will also show and explain the fish amok and you can even learn how to fold a banana leaf into a basket.
While the tomatoes and the amok are steamed, Ms. Chanlon takes you into her garden where you seen (and pick) many of the herbs used in the dishes you cook and eat. She shows you the kaffir lime tree and the noni tree, mango and papaya, star fruits and oranges. Her garden is a big resource and every season has it own fruits. Her daughter Mony is also a painter. She stared drawing as a child. During the Khmer rouge period, she used charcoal to draw on the street, but now takes classes at the famous Phare Ponleu Selpak art school.
They offer also rooms: A bungalow for a family with kitchen and two bedrooms for 45 USD/night including homemade breakfast and a wooden house with one room for 25 USD per night including breakfast. You can book it with us a an extra, all the income for the homestay goes to the family.