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25 March 2008

Inay's Guinataan

Guinataan always invokes happy childhood memories. The ingredients are quite simple and can be readily bought from the stalls in the market where coconut is grate fresh. When we're looking for something to do on weekend afternoons, our eldest sister would take a visit to the nearby market, and soon we'd be busy making white balls out of the galapong. Ah, the smell of the guinataan as the coconut milk is poured into the pot! It's comfort food for me.

These days, I rarely get my share of homemade guinataan, save for the nearby food store in the office. So one weekend, we decided to have one. This time, it's my mother-in-law (we call her Inay) who cooked for us as we helped prepare the ingredients.

Inay's Guinataan

1 meat of coconut, grated
saba, diced
camote (sweet potatoes), diced
galapong (milled rice)
Sugar to taste

Place galapong in a bowl. Set aside a small portion. Pour water into the bowl and mix. Repeat procedure until you get the dough that will hold shape on its own.

Dust a large plate (or bilao, if available) with galapong so the balls won't stick to the plate. Take a small portion of the dough and roll into a ball the size of a small marble. Repeat till you exhaust the dough. You can watch TV or chat or listen to the radio while doing this if you like.

Get a strainer and place the grated coconut milk here. Pour hot water onto the coconut milk; a bowl will catch the resulting coconut milk. When you have poured around 3 cups of hot water, squeeze the coconut milk to extract more of the milk. Set aside.

Place water in a pan. Try to estimate the quantity; when all the ingredients are placed in the pan, the water should be just enough to submerge all these. Bring to a boil, then put in medium heat.

Place the galapong balls into the water. When all the balls are floating, these are already cooked.

Add the diced saba and camote into the pan and cover. Check occasionally when these are cooked by piercing the camote with a fork.

Next, pour in the coconut milk, mix, and continue cooking until the soup thickens.
Add sugar to taste.

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