For Buwan ng Wika, Akira went to school in her baro’t saya.
They read about a makulit little boy named Botbot, and learned why he makes the grownups around him go “Ay naku!“
Also, every Friday of August the children sampled local food treats like taho and sorbetes. My kid and her classmates are happy, so I’d say Buwan ng Wika at her school is a big success!
At home, we also did our part in celebrating all things Filipino by cooking the classic breakfast meal, champorado!
I’ve never cooked champorado ever, from scratch no less, until this day. I am happy to discover that it is quite easy to make.
This champorado is courtesy of Mama Sita’s, something I picked up from the Philippine Harvest fair. It’s not readily available, but the ate there told me they have it in Greenhills. I’m not too sure. Do drop a line in their Facebook page for inquiries.
This Mama Sita’s pack is NOT for instant champorado. It’s a champorado kit. It contains the rice, chocolate tablea and sugar needed for cooking the champorado.
I picked up this box not knowing how handy it would come in, especially for Buwan ng Wika. I think it’s such a simple yet classy tribute to a beloved Filipino dish from a brand that has become synonymous with home cooked goodness. Just look at that ingredient list, it contains no chemicals, no preservatives, no food coloring or anything slightly dubious.
But what truly makes this champorado exceptional is the rice it uses. While most recipes require glutinous or malagkit rice for champorado, this Mama Sita’s pack uses heirloom rice.
Heirloom rice are special breeds of rice that are handed down from generation to generation. According to PhilRice (Philippine Rice Research Institute), “heirloom rice varieties are grown in certain regions of Mindanao, such as Banasilan, Alamada, and the Arakan Valley in North Cotabato. They are also widely grown in provinces and municipalities of Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).”
PhilRice also adds that “they exhibit exceptional nutritional value, flavor, aroma, color, and cooking quality.”
It sounds like superfood, which is all the more reason to patronize these grains, but also it’s a simple way to contribute to the preservation of food that is uniquely and truly ours. Imagine, some of these rice varieties are exactly the kind that’s been planted and harvested in the rice terraces for hundreds of years.
Basing it on this Mama Sita’s pack, take a half cup of rice, 3 cups of water, 2 to 3 pieces of tablea and about 2 tablespoons or more of sugar, and put them all together in a sauce pan.
Over low to medium heat, break down the tablea until it’s all melted, and constantly stir the mixture until the rice is softened and cooked.
Serve with a drizzle of milk on top (your choice), and best paired with something salty like bacon.
Using heirloom rice and local tablea already ensures a healthful and filling meal. Try not to go overboard by using white sugar and/or lots of it. The Mama Sita’s pack already came with white sugar, but if cooking from scratch, I think muscovado or coco sugar are better alternatives.
If using your own tablea, be mindful of where it comes from and make sure that it is made from pure cacao. Malagos Chocolate comes to mind.
For this dish I used Silk soy milk, so feel free to use your choice of milk or non-milk product instead of the traditional condensed or evaporated milk for the topping.
Also, what is this lousy attempt at making a fancy milk swirl ahahaha