April 13, 2012

patanim (toasted mung bean porridge)

Like many other countries, the Philippines is proud of its culture, traditions and cuisine. Many of the islands and regions have their own specialties with different interpretations and presentations. Not everyone in the Philippines may be familiar with this type of sweet porridge and I have to admit it will probably fall into "acquired taste" category. 

Patanim is made with toasted split mung beans slow-cooked in coconut milk with sticky rice then sweetened with sugar. The mung beans were first lightly toasted in a skillet for a deeper flavor then the beans were cracked with a rolling pin or lightly pounded in a mortar like what I used. I will always associate patanim with Holy Week as it was my mother's Lenten snack tradition. She cooked this every year for the family on Good Friday. I believe she was just continuing the tradition for our generation. It's sad that it may eventually be lost and forgotten along with other old recipes someday. I guess with this foodblog, I'm able to try to save and share it somehow. It has been years since I made patanim but it will always remind me of my family's food traditions during the Lenten season.

crushing the toasted mung beans in a mortar and pestle

ready to cook toasted mung beans

the mung beans and sweet rice mixture cooked in rich coconut milk

The procedure is very simple. Lightly toast about 1/4 cup of mung beans in a skillet until light brown in color. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and pound lightly to crack or split the beans into smaller pieces. A rolling pin may also be used but the mung beans must be in a plastic bag or wrapped in a towel. In a small pot, heat 1 cup coconut milk mixed with about 1/2 cup water. Add the split mung beans and simmer until beans are al dente then add the sweet sticky rice. I made a mistake when I added the beans and sweet rice at the same time. Some of the beans were still undercooked while the rice was already done. Additional water or coconut milk may be added if the mixture gets too thick. Lastly, stir in granulated sugar according to desired sweetness.

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