This is my second entry for the LP 11.
Like I said in my most recent post, palitaw is one Filipino snack item that, as a child bored during summer, I learned to make through the recipe pages of Liwayway Magazine. I can't remember whose column it was, but I liked the recipes featured there. The original recipe called for galapong. I had no idea then what that was, but I asked my mother for money so I could try making this, and off I trekked to the wet market one sunny afternoon when most market vendors were taking their nap. Galapong turned out to be sticky rice soaked overnight (at least 8 hours), then ground as soon as there was a buyer. Once ground, it should be consumed immediately; otherwise it will spoil (panis). I have always loved to make this kakanin because of the ease of finding the ingredients and the simple process of making them. It was a bit of a challenge, though, now that I am here in the US. It took quite some time for me to finally come up with substitutes and the tools.
First, I tried to make my own galapong, but I did not know the proper proportion of water to rice, and my first attempt was not successful, I ended up throwing the rice. I was discouraged for a while, until I had an epiphany of using sticky rice flour and water instead! So now I had to start with these two basic ingredients: coconut and sticky sweet rice flour.
When it comes to the freshly grated coconut, I knew matured coconuts were available in Hannaford. I bought one several months ago and tried to grate that with fork. I got tired and swore 99% of the time. I did not want to do that again.
But when my friend Ana went on a vacation to the Philippines, I requested that she buy me a coconut grater. She did get me one for manual grating (left most in this photo), one as an attachment to a machine (middle one). I am hoping hubby could turn it like the Kitchen Aid attachment I have for grinding (right most). But until he could find the time to do that, I will content myself with the manual tool.
I attached it to a small piece of plank, which I could sit upon when placed on a bench or a chair or an ottoman.
This is my friend Fe doing the grating when we had a lunch as a welcome to Ana.
Now, going to the sticky rice patties, first, boil water in a big pot (wider than tall). While waiting for it to boil, prepare the patties by mixing cold water with some flour. I did it by approximating, I wanted to create a smooth dough, not mushy or super sticky, but not too dry. As soon as it is good to shape into balls, make the balls and flatten them into disks. Once the water is boiling briskly, drop these disks one by one, leaving enough space for each patty so they do not stick together.
Once they come up to the surface/float (lumitaw sa ibabaw - hence, the name "palitaw"), scoop them out and let the excess water drip.
Roll each patty into the freshly grated coconut (I do not like using the dry coconut flakes), then lay on the plate, as illustrated in the first photo. Never add the sugar-sesame seed mixture as this will draw out the water and make it very wet, which will dissolve the sugar. Rather, serve the palitaw with the sugar-sesame in a separate bowl, to be added only once the palitaw pieces are on the eater's plate, to be consumed very soon.
How to prepare the sesame-sugar: toast/roast the sesame seeds (either white or brown are okay) on very low heat. If you are using the white, it will start popping, which heralds that it is almost ready. You must swirl or stir constantly so as not to burn. With the brown one, you just have to go by the smell. Let cool then add the sugar (1:1 proportion, or according to your preference).
I had enough leftover for each of the visitor to take home 3 pieces each (of course I had some too!) What to do with leftovers: Put in the fridge without the sugar-sesame. When you want to eat them, microwave for 30 seconds (if only one patty), then add the sugar-sesame.
My kids still have to develop the taste for this dessert/snack. I plan to serve this during Pinoys' Christmas get together or during my birthday to serve to my in-laws.
I would love to learn how to make pichi-pichi as well (another favorite of mine), and I hope someone can share the how-to's. Maybe it is already featured in past LPs. I gotta have the time to read them...
I also want to be able to find coconut juice (the real coconut juice, even if it is canned) with some young coconut bits so I can make buko-pandan ice candy or drink, and also buko-brown beans popsicle. Any such info?
JMom posted an easy recipe on pichi-pichi (Yehey!!!), found here.