1. When we were kids (a time when our neighborhood is not yet fully developed), my brother and I would always mimick the woman selling this native delicacy. We would echo her "Paaa-liii-tttaaaawww!!!" and we would hide under the sofa so when she would check our windows she won't see anyone. One time, she got upset (well, who wouldn't) and shouted that we shouldn't make fun of her. Sorry po!
2. When I was in high school, my close friends and I decided to cook this, under Liza's mom's supervision. We didn't cook it like the typical Palitaw, her mom cooked the grated fresh coconut until it becomes latik, but even so, I consider that time one of the happiest moments I spent with my high school girl friends.
3. My dad used to buy this every day for his afternoon snacks.
It was reason number three that led us to try and cook Palitaw. Out of the blue, us three girls thought about Palitaw and how dad used to really like eating it, and we just decided to cook some for ourselves, because buying from kakanin peddler would be impractical (especially because the palitaw she was selling was so thin, we thought we don't get our money's worth), and we would be sure of its freshness. When it comes to native delicacies, it is oftentimes difficult to buy those with fresh coconuts because they spoil quickly.
Anyway, Palitaw is one of the easiest native delicacies to cook, but because we didn't know the exact ratio of rice flour to water, we decided to follow another one of Pinay Cooking Lessons's recipes. Click on the recipe title to view its video tutorial on YouTube.
- 1 1/4 cups rice flour
- 2/3 cup water
- more water for boiling
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- freshly grated coconut
- Pour water into a pot until half-full and allow it to boil under medium heat.
- While waiting for the water to boil, heat a pan and toast sesame seeds until light brown in color. Mix in a bowl with the sugar and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine rice flour and water until it is play-dough consistency - soft, but not sticky. If the dough is too dry, add more water (a little at a time).
- Depending on the size you want, get some of the dough, shape them into a ball using your palms, and using your thumb, make an indentation in the middle so it will flatten a bit. Make it round or elongated in shape, but make sure your Palitaw pieces are not so thin so it won't easily break, or not so thick so it will cook easily.
- Once you used up all the dough, drop them one at time in the pot of boiling water (don't crowd them because they might stick to each other) and wait for them to float. Once the dough floats totally, allow it to cook a few more minutes then fish them out using a slotted spoon. Place the cooked palitaw on a plate, without touching each other.
- When ready to serve, roll each palitaw pieces on freshly grated coconut and transfer on the serving plate. You may now place the palitaw on top of each other because the grated coconut prevents them from sticking together.
- Depending on your preference, you may top it with the sugar-sesame mix or serve them separately.
We decided to top our Palitaw with the sugar-sesame mix, but we didn't use all, because we have our own preference when it comes to the amount of sugar.
Just some points to consider... here in the Philippines, there are ready-made galapong being sold in public markets (where you usually buy your sago and gulaman). If you decide to use this, omit the 2/3 cup of water in the recipe. We used the ones sold in supermarkets, in case you want to know. Also, when you let the store owner / staff grate the coconut using a machine, specify that you will use this for Palitaw, because they tend to push the coconut into the machine too much, which causes the machine to grate parts of the coconut shell as well. You want your grated coconuts as white as possible. Lastly, buy the coconut the day you decide to make this recipe. Like I said, freshly grated coconut spoils fast, so when you buy them, make sure you make the recipe within the day as well. If you bought it early in the morning and you will make the Palitaw about noon time, place them in the fridge until you're ready to use them.
If you want something easy to cook for snack this weekend, I suggest you try this, too. Let the kids or your siblings and parents join the fun of shaping the palitaw dough, it makes eating more fun. Happy weekends!