in keeping with last week's "no meat" plan, jp requested for binignit. i didn't really know what he was talking about until he described it. and then i went: "ah, ginataan!" so apparently, according to jp, they usually eat this during holy week. in manila, we ate this all the time, especially during afternoon merienda.
i was supposed to prepare this last tuesday, but it took me a while to find the gabi and the pearl sago. so i cooked it on wednesday, after going around several groceries to find some of the ingredients. i was really frustrated when i went to fairprice finest and giant, because the attendants at the grocery couldn't understand what i was saying. i asked for "tapioca balls", "the one you put on bubble tea", "sago", and most of them looked at me with a blank face. hello, it's used all the time in their desserts, so i don't really understand why they can't get what i was describing. in any case, our friend evan, tweeted me to look for it in the dry goods section, and we FINALLY found them.
here's what i used:
rice balls (can be found on the frozen food section), gabi, camote(sweet potato), saging na saba (i think it's called plantains?), coconut milk, and the hard-to-find pearl sago and sugar. lots of sugar.
the original recipe calls for purple yam (ube) and some langka (jackfruit), but i couldn't find yam at the supermarket, and though there was jackfruit, i couldn't bear to buy it, simply because it was peeled already, and it has a certain smell (but not as strong as durian). and i didn't want to stink up the bus when i commuted (i'm a conscientious commuter, not like some people who bring durian on the bus!)
so i cut the gabi, camote and bananas into bite sized pieces. then proceeded with cooking the pearl sago. these instructions proved to be useful, since i'm really used to buying sago already cooked at the wet market, and it's my first time to cook it. and the result is this:
i also cooked the rice balls, which was really simple: just put them in boiling water and wait for them to float. i chose the colored balls, just to make the dish a bit more colorful.
after that, it really was just a matter of cooking the gabi and camote in coconut milk, then adding sugar (depends how sweet you want it), and the rest of the ingredients when they soften a bit. let it simmer for 5-10 minutes, and voila!
ginataan... or as jp calls it: binignit!
here's a link to a recipe, with instructions how to make the rice balls, if you don't want to purchase frozen ones.
next up: my first paella for easter!