Monday, November 12, 2012


All over the Philippines specially in the Bicol region and in the south, in Mindanao island, green langka (jackfruit) is cooked in rich coconut milk with lots of chilis. This
 favorite vegetable dish is known as Ginataang Langka...
In Muslim Maranao cuisine, big chunks of green langka are cooked fiery hot with turmeric, ground coconut meat, chili powder and palapa. Langka is also known as 'nangka', 'kanun' and 'mit’. It originated in southwestern India 6,000 years ago in the rainforests of present-day Kerala, coastal Karnataka and Maharashtra. Langka played a significant role in Indian agriculture for many centuries. It is called 'panasan' in Sanskrit. Then it spread to Malaysia.

When the Malays came to our shores from Malaysia some 2, 000 years ago, they brought langka with them along with other fruits and vegetables indigenous in Malaysia. They introduced us to cooking langka with coconut milk. They came after the Indonesians and also arrived in boats from South East Asia. They were medium in height, brown-skinned, with flat noses and straight black hair. They drove the Indonesians into the forests and lived in the lowlands. 

The Malays were more civilized than the Indonesians. They lived in larger villages. They had government, writing, music, arts, and sciences. They lived by agriculture, fishing, mining and trading. The Filipinos of today come from the Malay race. Thus, there are Muslim Malays in Mindanao, Jolo and Palawan. There are also Christian Malays all over the country. The Malays are the ancestors of tribes like the Igorots, Ifugaos, Bontoks and Tinggians of Luzon.

Here is my recipe of Ginataang Langka:

3 c green langka (jackfruit), sliced 

1 c thick coconut milk (coconut cream 250ml) 

1 1/2 c thin coconut milk (coconut cream diluted in water) 

2 Tbsp ginger (sliced) 

2 Tbsp leeks or spring onions 
4 pcs siling pangsigang (green chilis) 

1. In a pot, put langka, ginger, thin coconut milk, leeks or spring onions and salt. Cover and cook until langka is tender. While langka is cooking, add siling pangsigang. 

2. When langka is cooked, pour thick coconut milk. Mix and cover. Remove from heat. Serve. 

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