14 Mar2007


The arrival of landang from our cook’s hometown, Toledo, Cebu, resulted in a huge pot of binignit as soon as sufficient ingredients had been assembled. Binignit, benignit or guinataan is a warm root crop and fruit stew made with coconut milk and sugar. I have written a post on it before. The thought of eating a porridge-y, sludge-y, opaque, hot mixture of starchy fruits and root crops stewed in coconut milk and sugar may be odd for most folks, but I grew up with this concoction and I consider it incredible comfort food. Come to think of it, eating this concoction cold might be a bit interesting, don’t you think? My mom made a bit of a “stylized” version, going heavy on the saba bananas (which I loved) and light on other ingredients that were spurned by the kids… I think she added a bit more sugar as well which is what made this such a great rainy afternoon merienda or dessert like treat…

Our cook set out to make a binignit like SHE used to have back home in Toledo, on the Western coast of the island of Cebu. She boiled up some water, added white malagkit bin2grains (sticky rice; though I suppose the purple sticky rice would be an interesting alternative as well), the landang and waited a few minutes until these began to soften. Next, she added cubed gabi (taro root) and cooked this a few minutes longer. Cubed kamote (sweet potato), sliced saba bananas (plantains), bilo-bilo, and some folks might add cubed ube (purple yam) as well, then some some ripe langka (jackfruit) pieces, sugar, coconut milk and keep stirring until everything is cooked. Serve warm in generous sized bowls. The addition of landang to this recipe resulted in a very colorful binignit – a deep pinkish, purplish liquid richly enveloping the morsels of starch…oh so bloody good and oh so bloody banned from my failing diet… The landang was kind of chewy with a pleasant bite and taste…a little firmer than sago and less uniformly ball-like.



  1. bugsybee says:

    I think that is what they call “lugaw” in Negros Occidental.

    Mar 14, 2007 | 1:26 pm


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  3. mila says:

    A pink guinataan! How cute! Sorry, but all the guinataan’s I’ve had in life were either the off white, slightly purple ones (if the ube was loaded in), or a grey one recently that was quite bad (looked bad, tasted horrible). I like the pinkishness of the one your cook makes.

    I always think of guinataan during the rainy season, my yaya would cook pots of it, the guinataan mongo with corn or the fruit/rootcrop version above (minus the color). Watching the rain fall, the crash of lightning, seated on a wooden stool by the window, and having a bowl of hot guinataan. Yum. Cold isn’t bad either, usually a good morning alternative to oatmeal.

    Mar 14, 2007 | 2:08 pm

  4. Mandy says:

    ours too, would be usually purple, sometimes a bad shade of gray (but not bad tasting naman). when i was a kid, i did not like the saba (it was soft) and the nangka (stringy and it tickled my throat). i just liked the sauce/soup part with sago (tiny ones, tapioca like) and the bilo-bilo. :) and it’s good coming from the ref too!

    Mar 14, 2007 | 2:37 pm

  5. chinkee says:

    Hi MM, I just recently discovered landang myself from a friend who hails from Western Leyte. I put it in my ginat-an with just sago, saba, a bit of sticky rice and cubed “marundon” the dark purple and very sticky kind of gabi that grows in the dark black soil in a portion of Basey, Samar (where the soil is so soft you won’t see any upright coconut trees, they’re all either bent or slanting at different angles from the ground). I make sure to add a bit more of thin coconut milk to the ginat-an so that the leftovers don’t become too sticky after it comes out of the ref the following day. It’s even better cold than when freshly cooked :)

    Mar 14, 2007 | 2:57 pm

  6. greengrapecake says:

    ooh. i love binignit. we still serve this favorite merienda every sunday. not a big fan of kamote though.

    Mar 14, 2007 | 3:19 pm

  7. tulip says:

    I usually receive landang from a friend whenever I go to Cebu and she will always tell me to use it in ginataan but never tried. Now, I know how it is used..thanks!

    Mar 14, 2007 | 3:46 pm

  8. honey says:

    I love ginat-an. It’s one of my comfort foods. I like cassava and kamote in it. the saba, ot so much. And what I really really love in it are the grated cassava balls which are soft and chewy.

    Mar 14, 2007 | 8:42 pm

  9. Bay_leaf says:

    haven’t dropped by in a while but your binignit looks so inviting! ahh, comfort food, indeed!
    and Grats on your 1000 posts! Keep going, Mr. MM!


    Mar 14, 2007 | 9:27 pm

  10. corrine says:

    Now I crave for ginataan. I love it cold. When I was young, my mother and her sisters would cook a huge pot of ginataan to be shared among family members and neighbors. I remember delivering a bowlful to each. I love saba and langka. We made Bola-bola or bilo-bilo from scratch.

    Mar 14, 2007 | 9:31 pm

  11. TOPING says:

    In our household, binignit usually means… Holy Week! Sometimes we don’t even bother to make it anymore, since big bowlfuls would make it to the house anyway, courtesy of the neighbors.

    Mar 14, 2007 | 11:09 pm

  12. Cumin says:

    Ay, yes, landang and binignit are a big chunk in my Cebuano childhood memories. I wonder whether this is also a tradition in other provinces, but in Cebu, binignit is a must on Good Fridays. These days, some supermarkets even put together all ingredients in a large plastic bag pack, no need to buy the ingredients individually!

    Mar 14, 2007 | 11:21 pm

  13. NYCMama says:

    My wonderful yaya use to make me a special guinataan: with bananas, camote, and langka only! Now I make basically the same one, with the addition of bilo-bilo (my kids love to make those!) Sometimes we eat the guinataan cold from the fridge, sometimes we nuke it in the microwave for a few seconds.

    Mar 15, 2007 | 12:11 am

  14. Maria Clara says:

    I favor cold guinataan at least a day old in the fridge, left uncovered so a soft crust developed on top. The soft crust is the best part. It’s heaven. For extra flavor, we add toasted anis just before taking it off the stove. We also use cubed cassava in addition to kamote, taro and ube. Truly a great merienda fare with kutsinta, puto and tamales. What an afternoon delight!

    Mar 15, 2007 | 1:08 am

  15. Lou says:

    Good Lord, ginataan! I’ve almost forgotten this merienda,and you simply hit the right spot when the snow doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to go away! We even moved the daylight saving schedule 3 weeks ahead to be able to enjoy longer days. The realistic shot simply gave me that home away from home “comfort merienda” and it looks so real I could almost smell and taste it! Now I gotta see what I could find at the Asian market to complete my ingresients. Merci, MM.

    Mar 15, 2007 | 5:59 am

  16. starbuxadix says:

    in pampanga, they call it “sampelot”. =)

    Mar 15, 2007 | 6:20 am

  17. DivineG. says:

    Landang is a new thing for me, so I still can’t grasp what it really is. I hope one day I could taste what your cook made . I love guinatan- it could be the halo-halo or what I’ve always known as “lelot mais”, lelot balatong. It could be either hot or cold as long as there is bilo-bilo and the sticky gabi or taro, saba, kamote and langka and sago in the guinatang halo-halo and also I tend to like it on the sweeter side.

    Mar 15, 2007 | 6:41 am

  18. millet says:

    it is overcast in davao as i read this, i am thinking bowls and bowls of ginatan. we do have landang in mindanao (is it only a bisaya thing, MM?), but i’ve always preferred the uniform chewiness of small sago. i like my ginatan with plenty of bilo-bilo, langka (sliced across the grain so you don’t choke on the long fibers), lots of tiny sago, and the chewy, purple gabi. i also like cooking ginatan with some pandan (screwpine) leaves, for added flavor and fragrance. whenever we serve ginatan, we have a small pitcher of fresh coconut milk to pour on top of each bowl – adds another layer of coconut flavor. yummm..just might send somebody to the palengke anytime now to get the ingredients.

    Mar 15, 2007 | 8:46 am

  19. Jaja says:

    yummy!!!! Whenever we have this, I would always request for extra saba. My lola had a version of this with only kamote, gabi, and saging na saba then we would eat it with rice. I know it sounds weird but very tasty! =)

    Mar 15, 2007 | 8:54 am

  20. Lei says:

    MM, I am just curious on the bowl that is in the post. My mother in law has the same looking bowl that you used. Is this also some of those that you inherited from your mom’s?

    Mar 15, 2007 | 9:15 am

  21. wysgal says:

    I adore guinataan! With all the milk, sugar and starch (and those lovely white sticky starchy bilo-bilo balls I’d always save for last) that goes into it though this is any dieter’s nightmare!

    I’m surprised to read a lot of comments saying they like this cold though …

    Mar 15, 2007 | 9:36 am

  22. jules winnfield says:

    after our guinataan cools down a bit after cooking, i stick my bowl immediately in the freezer. i will only have it really really cold period. i have a frozen stash of it, while the rest of the guinataan is in the chiller for the family.

    Mar 15, 2007 | 9:52 am

  23. Kulasa says:

    Sarap naman! I like my guinataan a little lukewarm, my dad loves it when it’ cold. Hed even put his bowl back in the ref if it gets a little too warm for him. As long as there’s camote, bilo-bilo, and saging na saba, ok na.

    Mar 15, 2007 | 11:19 am

  24. rampau says:

    I’m in LA, CA so it is a bit hard to get my hands and mouth with ganataan. I was surprised to find a white male friend cook ginataan like a native pinoy. Except for how he cut up the camote and the saging, his can pass for something I would do. It was ok.

    Mar 15, 2007 | 11:48 am

  25. TOPING says:

    Point of clarification, MM: I did a double-take with the pics, sensing something was ‘off’. It just occurred to me: in Leyte, we call this landang or dinoldog; binignit is simply breadfruit balls (is this the bilo-bilo you mentioned?) with coconut milk and brown sugar.

    Mar 15, 2007 | 12:06 pm

  26. millet says:

    breadfruit balls, toping? how do you make them?

    Mar 15, 2007 | 12:20 pm

  27. TOPING says:

    millet, boil/steam the breadfruit until cooked, then mash/pound the flesh until smooth (add a little sugar, plus water if too dry) and form into mini-balls. They look good swimming in the rich brown cream, yum!

    Mar 15, 2007 | 12:34 pm

  28. Marketman says:

    TOPING, in our family, we always referred to this dish as benignit, binignit or guinataan… I think I have to try this dish served cold, sounds good and certainly lots of folks above enjoy it that way… Lei, yes the glass bowl is one of many I inherited from my grandmother. This is a simple pressed glass bowl, plentiful in the 1940’s I am sure…I have about a dozen of this particular pattern and size…

    Mar 15, 2007 | 2:00 pm

  29. Bubut says:

    some regions call it “Alpahol”. Jolibee in California serves Guinatan during winter time. Something to check for those in US.

    Mar 16, 2007 | 3:44 am

  30. carina says:

    In Pampanga, we call it sampelot or paradusdos. Some of my tagalog friends call this bilo-bilo. HEAVENLY!!!

    Mar 16, 2007 | 9:13 am

  31. corrine says:

    Toping, do your neighbors still give you binignit? I thought this gesture has disappeared eons ago. Now, I have to recall if our ginataang bilo-bilo is a Holy Week special. I would really love to revive some traditions for my kids to remember and pass on to their children.

    Mar 16, 2007 | 9:26 am

  32. CecileJ says:

    Cold guinataan on a hot summer day and hot guinataan on a cold rainy day! Ahh, what a wonderful life!!!!! :)

    Mar 16, 2007 | 10:35 am

  33. TOPING says:

    Corrine, they still do as a matter of fact. The spirit of giving seems stronger during Holy Week, it would seem. Makes me wonder. And you could almost always tell who gave you what; one neighbor, for example, has squash in her landang, hehe…

    BTW, anyone up for monggo with sticky rice and sugar? I served this once to a friend from Cebu and he complained it tasted funny. Seems he’s only had monggo as ‘utan’, never as ‘minatamis’. Me, I can eat sweet monggo everyday, uric levels be damned. ;-0

    Mar 16, 2007 | 11:28 am

  34. Zita says:

    Sarap naman, nagutom tuloy ako!

    Mar 16, 2007 | 6:51 pm

  35. art says:

    Hi anyone know where I can purchase Tung Min Flour?? It is wheat starch, not corn starch or wheat flour. If anyone can tell me i would greatly appreciate it.

    Apr 15, 2007 | 12:27 am

  36. chick says:

    love my guinataan hot esp. if its for breakfast or during a rainy day.. but i love it chilled if it’s for merienda or during summer! yummm…

    i want it w/ lots of saba, bilo-bilo, ube, sago and langka! perfect! :)

    Aug 16, 2007 | 2:29 pm

  37. mameejhy says:

    hi! do you know where i can buy ginataan in manila? i’m craving for one! thanks

    Dec 11, 2007 | 2:33 pm

  38. Bisoy says:


    just wanna inform you that ginataan is available in manila but with out Landang. If you may,do contact me and we will be distributing there in Metro Manila.

    Jan 17, 2008 | 3:00 pm

  39. portia says:

    I really dont love eating binignit or palutaw as what we call it here in Antique. But there was just this one time that i came home starving and i have no choice bcoz the only food available then was a chilled binignit. I ate it then i just realized that it tastes best when it is cold.It tastes Sweeter compared when its hot. And everytime my aunt or my mom cook palutaw i would always put it in the ref overnight and eat it the next day.
    i luv the bilog-bilog thing in it. It is so sticky when chewed..
    uow!we call it palutaw in our place.
    I agree with Mila.This is also the first time i saw a pink ginataan.The only ginataang halihalo i knew before i saw this pix above was the white(dirty white)one.
    Guys have you ever eaten a Binignit (as what you call it)with rice as one of the ingredients?
    Well, I DO.
    Binignit or palutaw is one of the top recipes prepared here in our place during birthdays and fiestas.

    By the way what is LAndang?

    Mar 4, 2008 | 10:59 am

  40. Marketman says:

    portia, just follow the link in the main post to landang and read more about it there…

    Mar 4, 2008 | 12:12 pm

  41. lucita ramos says:

    in Cavite we call it “ARPAHOL”

    May 1, 2008 | 1:24 am


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