Q’Diaries: Binignit

ECQ in our locality has finally ended but we’re not yet out of boringville unfortunately. And of course, times like this all I can think of is food. And do you know what’s on my mind right now?

Ever heard of Binignit? In Tagalog, it’s called as “Ginataang Bilo-Bilo” while Bisayas (“Visayans”) refer to it as, well, “Binignit” . It’s a Filipino dish or food that originated from the Visayas area, and normally offered as merienda or snacks. While it can highly be considered as a hot dessert, Binignit is a sweetened soup cooked in coconut milk.

There are different versions of binignit as it also varies in color and texture. For one, the color of pearls or sago greatly affects the overall presentation of the dish while the ingredients added or omitted contribute highly to the end result.

Our version of Binignit often includes coconut milk (“tuno”), sweet potato (“kamote”), taro (“gabi”), sabá bananas, sago, and palm flour jelly balls (“landang”). On numerous occasions, we add strips of jack fruit (“nangka”), if available, while others add purple yam (“ube”), anise and milled glutinous rice (“pilit”) formed into balls which we omit from our recipe.

Cooking binignit is so easy but the process is somewhat tedious since we love to use fresh ingredients instead of readily available processed items in the grocery (except for sago which takes a longer time to make.)

We personally crack open coconuts, grate it and extract its milk, we peel off the skins of sweet potato and taro then cut them into cubes, we peel and cut the sabas in circles and remove the fleshy parts of the jackfruit and cut them into strips. Yes it takes a lot of work but the taste is sooo delicious.

When everything is combined, the mixture is then simmered on low to medium heat and occasionally stirred, to prevent the coconut milk from curdling. It is then sweetened by muscovado sugar and then voila!

Binignit is more than just a food or a dessert or a snack for us. Mind you, no Holy Week is ever complete for a Bisaya without a bowl of hot binignit. It’s already part of our culture and tradition and our way of fasting during the Lenten season.

You might wanna try. 🤗😉

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