The Filipino word kakanin comes from kanin (rice), it also means to eat, hence kakanin. Kakanin are typically made of various forms (whole grain, powdered, soaked in water then ground) of regular rice and glutinous or sticky rice usually combined with coconut milk and sugar, some with salt. They are baked, boiled, and steamed, almost always using banana leaves to line pans and to wrap small bundles called suman. There is a variety of suman names and preparations depending on the region but the nationally known and eaten all over the Philippines is the suman sa lihiya (with lye). It is wrapped in banana leaves and boiled in pairs for 40 minutes and served with muscovado sugar and coconut milk sauce/syrup. A very versatile rice dish is the champorado, it is sweet simmered in water, sugar, a pinch of salt and cocoa powder. It is a breakfast food for most Filipinos but I eat it any time of the day. Champorado is eaten just like any cereals, with milk. There is a restaurant in Manila that serves a tweaked champorado using white chocolate instead of cocoa powder. I made both and served it in one bowl, eliminating the need to add milk to the dark chocolate champorado, they go well together. I call it champorado yin yang.
I also made both white and ube (purple yam) puto - sweet steamed rice muffins, and the Visayan moron (what a strange name), first photo, chocolate and white twists made with both regular and glutinous rice, half has cocoa powder, the other half has chopped roasted peanuts. I never had moron before and read about it in several Filipino blogs. I got the recipe from the The Little Kakanin Book by Gene Gonzalez of Cafe Ysabel in Manila. The preparation was simple and I had all the ingredients, let's just say it will never be a favorite, I still prefer the ones I ate all my life, the one with lye, although I don't put lye in my suman. Hot white and purple yam puto with lots of butter, I'll have them everyday, if possible, yummy.
Bibingka, a baked rice flour cake is a national favorite during Christmas season but is now consumed any day and anytime of the year in restaurants. My favorite is topped with salted eggs and sliced white cheese.
For puto recipes click here
There are many more kakanin that I still have to make and will post them soon if I am able to make them successfully: palitaw, pichi-pichi, piaya, guinatan halo-halo, sapin-sapin, cuchinta, mache (similar to mochi)...I'm getting a little ambitious here.
Suman sa Moron