Malagkit treats-A A +A
By Mimi Olarga
Sunday, October 28, 2012
AS THE celebration of All Souls’ Day is coming, the cost of the “malagkit” or glutinous rice is also rising. We know that this trend is just the call of the law of supply and demand. And so we asked, why is “malagkit’ rice associated with the commemoration of the dead?
Beliefs tell us that because we Filipinos are very clannish, our family elders always want us to have a stronger tie. So in the value of sticking it out with our kins and loved ones through thick and thin, our forebears prepare delicacies made from the sticky glutinous rice. With these sticky and sugary bits, our elders believe that we would always uphold the family tradition of coming home and remembering our loved ones.
So we have a lot: suman, ibos, baye-baye, but-ong, budbod, kalamay-hati, bitso-bitso, valenciana, inday-inday, and other finger-licking, sweet-tasting fares.
Some of these treats are very easy to make; most come in with coconut milk and washed sugar (and this is also the reason why these commodities, coconut and sugar, also go up during this time of the year). In suman, the glutinous rice is cooked first, and later mixed in boiled coco milk with sugar. Additives for this could be orange or “calamansi” (Philippine lemon) rind or young leaves.
Ibos, but-ong and bud-bod are but simple treats to do: after washing, you soak the malagkit in coco milk, with a dash of salt, half-cook it in a pan, wrap it in banana or coco leaves, and boil it until cooked. Budbod may have the variance of chopped ginger in small amount, so as to provide a neutralizer for the thick coco taste. The inday-inday is not quite hard work, though the cooking of spoonfuls of ground glutinous rice may take some time. But with toasted sesame seeds mixed in mascovado sugar as topping, inday-inday taste so heavenly.
The tedious treats to do are the kalamay-hati and the baye-baye. From the toasting of the malagkit rice to the grinding and the stirring (in the case of kalamay-hati) or the mixing with young coconut meat candy (bukayo) and the grinding again (no more mortar and pestle work this time in the case of baye-baye), yet the two native fares still rank first and second among favorites.
Bitso-bitso is ground malagkit mixed with young coco meat strips and deep fried. When cooked, the oblong-shaped patties are cooked in sugar syrup and sprinkled with sesame seeds. And the main course of our snack menu is the valenciana or euphemistically the “arroz a la paella.” From sautéed beef, or chicken to liver or seashells and shrimps as the main stock, the” malagkit” is soaked in turmeric (“kalawag”)powder and meat bouillons or coco milk before mixed with the sautéed ingredients. The variances could be green peas, raisins, boiled eggs, sliced bell pepper and chopped green onions as garnishing.
Well, there could still be many malagkit treats prepared by families from different parts of the country. The food preparation may be tiresome, but to most who believe that this act of love and these native fares will bring the family members closer together, the long process involved in the cooking will just be plain, simple, and nothing at all. And for the busy-bodies and the practical ones, going to the market, looking for your suki and making an advance order for these native malagkit delicacies is the best deal to do because on All Saints Day, you still have the best malagkit treats donning your table.
Happy eating! God bless!
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 28, 2012.