Puto Maya

I’ve been craving for this Filipino sweet rice delicacy for some days now. My problem is I’ve never done this myself before. My mom used to serve this for our merienda or breakfast way back when I was a child. Yes, this rice recipe, like most of the Filipino rice delicacies in the Philippines, can be eaten for breakfast or merienda (snack).

Thing is, may it be for between meals (merienda=snack), or for breakfast, I always had this with the good old sikwate (hot chocolate drink). Perhaps, later on in my growing up years, I also had this with ice cold coke. Well, that’s how kids are, always experimenting.

Apropos, experimenting. So I have been craving for the “puto-maya” of my mom. Thing is, she now lives thousand of miles away from me. So unlike before, now I very seldom have the pleasure of eating this delicacy. Nowadays, I just content myself to eating puto maya at parties where I get invited to. Of course, provided that a nice Pinay would prepare it… hehehe.

Today, I couldn’t help myself anymore though. I finally decided that I would experiment myself. I went out to the nearest grocery and got the ingredients that I didn’t happen to have in my pantry.

I need:

500 grams pilit (sticky / glutinous rice)
3 cups coconut milk
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup of ginger sliced thinly

I guess there are several ways to cook puto maya. But I remember that my mom used to make it the complicated way. Oh, you have to understand that for me, if one is cooking using several pots and pans, then I assume it is already a complicated recipe that he/she is preparing. The way i cook my stuff, is to heat the pan, put the first batch of ingredients which is normally composed of onions, tomatoes and garlic. Saute them and put the rest in, whatever they may be. Most of the time they turn out okay :). Alas, this simply won’t work with the Puto Maya.

I first prepared the rice. Rinse the rice with cold water. I did this two times. I don’t know why, but I just seem to remember that when I was young I was always told to rinse it twice. Or at least until the water is not cloudy anymore. Later on, I found out that the more you wash the rice, the less nutritious it becomes. Or so, somebody told me again. But again, somebody said that this is only true to enriched American rice. Anyway, I digress.

I cooked the rice separately. On another pot, I poured in the coconut milk keeping it to boil. Slowly i poured in the sugar while continuosly stirring the boiling coconut milk. Once it became sticky, I also put in the ginger strips that I prepared. I continued stirring it until the mixture turned a bit brownish. At this time, the rice already cooked, is slowly cooling down a bit. I scooped¬† it out of the pot and transferred it to the coconut mixture. I folded and mixed like beating a batter.¬† While doing this, I could already smell the rich aroma of rice and ginger. I took it out of the stove. Let cool down a bit. Then I started molding using one of my dessert bowls. Since i don’t have banana leaves, I had to content myself with eating it directly from the breakfast plate. Oh, I almost forgot to take a photo of my creation. To make it look more presentable, I put in two fresh basil leaves.

A few minutes later, hubby came into the kitchen sniffing. He actually said, the blending smell of the ginger, coconut milk, rice and basil made him feeling hungry. I hurriedly poured him a cup of fresh hot coffee with cream but no sugar since the puto maya to my standard is already sweet enough. Well, actually, I drink my coffee most of the time black so it goes well with the puto maya. No hot chocolate for me today, as I am following a strict diet regime. Maybe, tomorrow morning for breakfast I can have my puto maya with my hot chocolate.

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