03 Jan2014


Doesn’t this bowl of plantain bananas, glutinous rice balls and root crops stewed in coconut cream look so incredibly comforting?


The crew cooked up a fabulous pot of benignit or ginataan on New Year’s Eve to bring a bit of home (Toledo, Cebu) to Manila. They used some purple kamote or sweet potato we had in the larder and it turned the stew an incredible shade of purple and it tasted even better than it looked!


In our home, the holidays are a time of special meals, and often western roasts and meats that we don’t indulge in the rest of the year. But it’s also a time of indulging in classic local favorites, often simple yet utterly sublime. If you’d like to make a pot of benignit, refer to this old post on benignit and this post on homemade bilo-bilo (glutinous rice balls) as well as this post on landang



  1. Betchay says:

    Looks so delicious! And the sago/bilo-bilo is in keeping with the tradition of round things serve on new year’s day for a bountiful year!

    Jan 3, 2014 | 11:20 am


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  3. Cecille B. says:

    Now, I’m hankering for a bowl of ginataan or bilo-bilo as we call it in nueva ecija.

    Jan 3, 2014 | 11:28 am

  4. betty q. says:

    there goes my diet resolution!!!

    meanwhile, Ms. Wisdom Tooth…do you still have the pandan paste I sent you? if you do, besides the white bilo bilo and the purple ones MM made in previous post, you can add the paste to a portion of the glutinous rice flour mIxed with fresh buko water…you have buko pandan bilo bilo!

    Jan 3, 2014 | 12:45 pm

  5. bijin says:

    Sounds good right now but hard to find real sweet potato in the dead of winter!

    Jan 3, 2014 | 1:01 pm

  6. khrishyne says:

    i like binignit hot. i love semi frozen leftover binignit.

    Jan 3, 2014 | 1:30 pm

  7. Ariel Nievera says:

    My brother, niece ate at your restaurant, just now, he took pictures. I love the torta made from small fish from Agusan. Mouth watering deserts, its the branch in Tabok

    Kudos to you, your staff and your fine restaurant. Filipino food at its best

    Jan 3, 2014 | 2:28 pm

  8. Skye says:

    I love benignit especially if it’s purple but I think the one made at home was because of the ube and not purple kamote. I find it more appetizing than just white benignit.

    I also love frozen (semi) leftover benignit.

    Jan 3, 2014 | 4:02 pm

  9. Bubut says:

    I love that guinataang halo halo… especially during rainy season

    Jan 3, 2014 | 4:56 pm

  10. Pepe Samson says:

    Was able to try binignit for the first time last September when I went to Cebu. In Hukad sa Golden Cowrie. Loved it!

    Jan 3, 2014 | 8:22 pm

  11. j. says:

    A somewhat connected but totally random side note. For the longest time, as kids when we vacationed in the Philippines, we bought these little, thumb sized coconut looking fruits from roadside stands. It drove certain family members crazy that we would eat it [that and saresa]. We had to use our thumbs to pop up the jellish inside. I never knew the name. It comes from the same tree/palm that landang comes from, Buli! They used to call them buko-bukohan, in Pampanga, because it looked like tiny buko. As the area grew more modern, much to my chagrin, much of the almost wild and certainly less cultivated fruits have disappeared from both roadsides and roadside fruit stands…

    Jan 3, 2014 | 10:29 pm

  12. betty q. says:

    j….check out a site called Wayne’s World Palomar College. your buko bukohan is probably the Jelly Palm or maybe not! He lists the edible palm fruits, Jelly palm being one of them. However, a few other sites say that not all palms fruits are edible when eaten raw for they contain oxalates.

    Jan 4, 2014 | 1:27 am

  13. Rose says:

    This dish is also called alpahor in Bulacan, a favorite.

    Jan 4, 2014 | 5:11 am

  14. millet says:

    bettyq, you are back! and your buco-pandan bilo-bilo sounds really original and yummy!

    Jan 4, 2014 | 8:20 am

  15. natie says:

    @J and bettyQ–in Iloilo, that is called Budyawi, still sold in wet markets.

    Wow, beautiful color! Isn’t Orchid or the purplish hue the color of the year? (Read in Facebook…)

    Jan 4, 2014 | 8:29 am

  16. benchjet says:

    We simply call it Ginataang Halo-halo. Sadly, I’m already diabetic so I can no longer eat this even if I want to :-(.

    Jan 4, 2014 | 8:44 am

  17. EbbaBlue says:

    BettyQ, welcome back.

    Jan 4, 2014 | 12:43 pm

  18. betty q. says:

    see what your guinatan does, MM? Lahat nabuhay!!!

    hey, Millet and Ms. Ebba! I was given a loot bag by one of hubby’s rep’s wife and the contents included skin care products. Now here is what I think….it is pretty darn cold over here and I need to use lip balm and everyone in my family. So…I will make ube flavoured lip balm as well as buko pandan lip balm using virgin coconut oil, beeswax, vitamin E and the flavouring or paste….cool, eh?!?

    Now, if only I can get lechon essence from MM…that would be so cool…lechon flavoured lip balm!!!!!!

    Jan 5, 2014 | 2:13 am

  19. Marketman says:

    bettyq, hahaha, lechon flavored limp balm = sebo. :)

    Jan 5, 2014 | 7:40 am

  20. marilen says:

    YUMMY! One of those all time comfort food.

    Jan 5, 2014 | 9:31 am

  21. mrsshukra says:

    My favorite but with healthier and reduced sugar and minus the bilo bilo!

    Jan 6, 2014 | 5:52 am

  22. j. says:

    Bettyq-Thanks for the suggestion, but it’s budyawi…as Natie suggests.Though I wonder if kaong is one of those that you’ll have to boil down before consumption. My mother loves it, I don’t particularly care for it. I love nata de coco though…

    Jan 7, 2014 | 10:18 pm


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