Ginataang Halo-Halo is another favorite Filipino merienda or minandal which is usually served as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. In my hometown, this delectable dish is popularly known as Alfajor. A warm bowl of this sweet delicacy can be enjoyed at a nearby carenderia, usually being served along side lugaw and other kakanin.
Root crops are the key ingredients of Ginataang Halo-Halo which easily fill your stomach and give you enough energy for a day’s work. Saba bananas and ripe jackfruit add an extra sweetness, and the sago and glutinous rice balls (bilo-bilo) provide a chewy texture.
Just an additional note, I personally find it challenging to prepare Ginataang Halo-Halo because I get allergic reaction while peeling taro roots (gabi). It gives me an itch that lasts for several days. Gabi is naturally toxic when raw, but its toxicity diminishes when cooked. What I do is I wear a plastic bag or hand gloves whenever I prepare the root crop. So, take extra precautionary measures as you might also experience the same discomfort.
Meanwhile, the glutinous rice (malagkit) dough is the same ingredient that we use in making Palitaw. Check out my Palitaw recipe to learn how to make the dough at home. When you shape it into small balls, it is locally known as bilo-bilo, which perhaps came from the Tagalog word bilog which means round in shape.
Just like many of Filipino dishes, Ginataang Halo-Halo can be prepared without one or two of the ingredients especially when they are not available in the place where you live. Check out Filipino stores in your area for canned varieties if you can’t find fresh produce.
You will need:
- 2 cups taro roots (gabi), peeled and diced
- 2 pieces medium to large purple yum (ube), peeled and diced
- 2 pieces medium to large sweet potatoes (kamote), peeled and diced
- 1/4 kilo glutinous rice (malagkit) dough, formed into small balls the size of a marble
- 1/2 cup uncooked sago beads
- 5 pieces saba bananas (plantain), peeled and sliced
- 1 cup ripe jackfruit (langka), shreded
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups coconut milk (kakang gata)
4 cups sugar
How to prepare:
- In a large saucepan, place the taro roots, purple yam, sweet potatoes, sago, water, coconut milk, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Simmer the ingredients until the root crops and sago beads are half-cooked.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until all the ingredients are cooked. Add more water, coconut milk, or sugar as needed.
- Serve in a bowl.