Wednesday, May 23, 2012


This is the last of my 'lucban traditional food series' posts and another delicious home-made suman recipe...

There are many ways to cook gabi but not very many people know that it can also be made into suman. Sumang gabi is made from grated gabi, coconut and sugar, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.

Gabi is a root crop also known as taro, kalo and eddo. It has been grown as a staple food across the world - - Greece, Rome, Egypt, India, ancient China, India and the Pacific Islands- -for over 5,000 years. Sometimes it is called 'the building block of cultures'.

In Hawaii, gabi is considered a sacred plant. It has been a staple of the Hawaiian diet ever since there were Hawaiians! 

And so it is with Filipinos. Gabi has been grown and eaten here in the Philippines long long before our early Filipino ancestors came about.

Gabi is a hearty root crop rich in carbohydrates and calcium.

1 1/2 c grated gabi
3/4 c brown sugar
1 c grated coconut (fresh)
margarine or butter
wilted banana leaves

1. Peel and grate gabi. Add freshly grated coconut. Set aside.
2. Cook sugar in a little water to make arnibal (sugar syrup). Add grated coconut and gabi. Mix well.
3. Spread margarine or butter on banana leaves. Scoop 1-2 Tbsp of the gabi-coconut mixture. Roll. fold ends. Arrange in a pot. Add enough water. Boil until gabi is cooked. Serve.

Note: If banana leaves are not available, use foil. Use dessicated coconut and coconut cream in place of freshly grated coconut.
(-lucban traditional food series)

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