Saturday, May 3, 2014


It is an old Filipino family tradition to cook Ginataang Halo-halo to welcome a newly-born baby. The coconut milk signifies increasing prosperity. The little sago pearls and bilo-bilo (rice balls) signify coins or money flowing in for the family. Well, no harm in following tradition! So last week I was busy preparing this delicious favorite afternoon snack to welcome the arrival of my newly-born third apo (grandchild)-- charming little baby Chintamoni dasi...

Ginataang Halo-Halo originated from an ancient Indonesian traditional coconut dessert called ‘Kolak Pisang’ made with palm sugar, coconut milk, pumpkin, sweet potato, jackfruit, pisang (plantain banana), cassava and sagu (tapioca pearls). The Filipino version included camote, gabi and bilo-bilo (rice balls).

The early form of Ginataang Halo-Halo dates back to as early as 7,000 years ago when the historical link between ancient Indonesia and Philippines started. 

At that time the Malay people who came to the Philippines were from the Javanese Medang Kingdom and the Srivijaya Empire. An Old Malay language that contained many Sanskrit words was spoken. The words ‘kolak pisang’ and ‘ginataan’ were of sanskrit origin.


1 c camote (sweet potato)
1 c gabi (taro)
3 pcs saba (plantain) bananas 

 1 c galapong (glutinous rice balls)
1 c sago (tapioca pearls), small size

1 c langka (ripe jackfruit)

3 c thin coconut milk

1 c thick coconut milk

2-3 c sugar

2-3 tsp vanilla (opt)

1. Set aside 1/4 c galapong dissolved in water for thickening sauce.

2. Boil thin coconut milk. Add camote, gabi and sugar. Cover and cook. Add galapong balls.

3. Add saba, langka, sago and vanilla. Simmer. Remove from heat. Pour thick coconut milk. Serve.


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