Goody! Ginataang Halo-Halo!

ginataang halohalo Goody! Ginataang Halo Halo!

This is the kind of food that I consider, “when-the-craving-hits”.  It reminds me of my childhood… my province…my lolas . This along with nilupak, sinukmani, ginataang malagkit at munggong pula were the homemade merienda delicacies my maternal Grandmother would make for her apos. I love it best when it’s piping hot (yung nakakapaso) and laden with lots of saba (cooking bananas) and tiny sago (tapioca pearls). It’s an afternoon snack favorite, but I’d gladly eat it for breakfast.

These are not expensive and what I would include in my list of simple joys—together with arroz caldo (rice-chicken porridge) and taho (soya milk custard). The trick I believe is in the coconut cream—which must be substantial to yield a creamy and flavorful concoction and a couple of stalks of pandan, for flavor and fragrance.

Take the word halo-halo to heart. Throw in a mix of tubers of different colors. The flesh of sweet potatoes comes in at least 3 colors- light yellow, orange and light purple. Throw in gabi (taro), for good measure.

Ginataang halo-halo is hearty and yet one bowl is not enough! Second servings are sure to happen.


  • 4 cups assorted root crops/tubers: kamote, kamoteng kahoy, gabi (sweet potato, cassava, taro cut into cubes)
  • (about ½ to ¾ inch cubes)
  • 1 c saba or cooking bananas, cubed
  • ½ c small sago or tapioca pearls
  • 1 cup Bilo-bilo or glutinous rice balls
  • 2 stalks pandan, tied into a knot
  • Sugar to taste
  • 2-3 coconuts, freshly grated. First press will approximately yield you at least 1 ½ cups (and that’s good). Add 2 cups warm water to yield a second press. Finally, add 4 cups warm water to yield a third press. (The liquid here will appear cloudy) *
In a big pot with a thick bottom, place your tubers, pandan and the third press liquid and bring to a boil. Bring down to medium heat and cover. After 20 minutes, check for tenderness. Because these are tubers, you will notice them thicken naturally. The starch content of the cassava and taro will make it so. When the tubers are half cooked add the second press and the bananas. Sprinkle the tapioca pearls then stir so they won’t stick to each other and form sticky clumps. Let it simmer till done. Stir every now and then to prevent it from sticking to the bottom. Depending on how sweet the produce is, add sugar a little at a time. I would start with half cup and add increments of ¼ cup. Ginataang halo-halo gets thicker as it cools. You can add water when reheating to get back the smooth consistency.
*You can substitute with a can of good quality coconut cream. Simply cook the tubers in water till half cook, before adding the canned coconut cream. Simmer, till thick.

Cook’s Tip: If you bought dried sago, soak them in water for 1 hour. Squeeze excess liquid.

Another cook’s tip: Pandan when raw can be quite stiff, so tie it into a knot before dropping into the pot. If it unravels while cooking, it’s ok.

 Goody! Ginataang Halo Halo!

© 2012, Kitchen Kitchie Koo. All rights reserved.