July 5, 2012

Comfort of Rain... Ginataang Halo-halo

"To enjoy the rainbow, first enjoy the rain". - Paolo Coelho

 I love rain! I love the "moment" it gives... I think rain makes you connect with your emotional side. It gives you deeper thoughts on everything. Some people say rain makes them depressed and blue but for me it is the opposite of what they feel. I am happy and alive.

Since it is raining all day long, I am craving for something sweet. I want something that brings back memories. Besides the all time favorite "champorado and tuyo", another comfort food that my mom used to make during the rainy days is the Ginataang halo-halo. Ginataang halo-halo(1) is a very versatile Filipino food. It can be served on breakfast, snack (merienda), or as a dessert.
The ingredients of this dish are coconut cream and different kinds of tubers commonly found in the Philippines like purple yam, sweet potato, taro root, and cassava. Aside from the tubers, it also includes jackfruit (langka), glutinous rice ball (bilo-bilo), tapioca pearls and plantains (saba). 

One thing that I love about the ginataang halo-halo is you can mix and match the ingredients, it depends on your preference. If one ingredient is missing, it is fine as long as you have the coconut cream / milk and sugar. It will not be "ginataan" if there's no coconut cream / milk. Even if you're not a good cook, you can make a ginataang halo-halo. There's no strict rule in making this comfort dish. The first time I made it, I just throw all the ingredients in a pot, stir it and wait till it cooks. The result is great, some of the ingredients are a little bit mushy like the plantains but it still taste yummy!

2 pcs regular size sweet potato (kamote)
2 pcs regular size taro root (gabi)
4 pcs plantains (saging na saba)
1 cup jackfruit (langka)
1 cup small tapioca pearls
10-20 pcs glutinous rice ball (bilo-bilo)
1 cup granulated sugar (adjust the measurement according to your taste)
1 1/2 - 2 cups coconut cream* (first extraction)
2 cups coconut milk (add 1 1/2 cup of water for the second extraction)
1/2 cup of water
2-5 pcs pandan leaves (tie into a knot)

2 matured coconut can yield 1 1/2 to 2 cups of coconut cream

Note: You can also add cassava and purple yam, I can't find it in the market so I omit these 2 ingredients.

1. Put the coconut milk, water, and pandan leaves in a large cooking pot. Let it boil.
2. Add the sweet potato (kamote), taro root (gabi) and sugar, then stir. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the tubers are close to tender.
3. Add the jackfruit (langka), plantains, tapioca pearls and bilo-bilo then stir. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
4. Put the coconut cream and let it boil again.
5. Check if all ingredients are tender then turn off the heat.
6. Transfer in a serving bowl.
7. Serve it either hot or cold.

I prefer to serve it cold. What I do is I put it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. I like it because the sweetness of the ginataan settles down and the sauce becomes thicker and creamier. If you're an adventurer of food, you might try to put it over hot steaming rice. I love it!!!

(1) Ginataang halo-halo is a sweet creamy Filipino dish usually served as snack or dessert. "Ginataan" means cooking with coconut cream/milk. "Halo-halo" literally means mix-mix.

Happy day always,


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