My cousin is a good cook so I wasn’t surprised when he didn’t mention about bringing anything. But just the same, I made “tutong” (tu-tong) or ginataang munggo (Mung beans cooked in coconut milk).
Mom used to make this, calling for a very few ingredients, cheap and easy. It is a snack food or what we call merienda in the Philippines.
For this recipe, I used the following:
1 cup of green mung beans
2 cups of sweet rice
6 cups of coconut milk
2 cups of thick coconut milk
2 tbsp. of vanilla extract
2 cups of sugar or according to taste
dash of salt
First step in making this is browning the beans in a frying pan. Put the fire on low so it won’t burn. You don’t want to burn it or it will have a bitter taste.
When browned, let it cool. When ready to handle crush the beans in a mortar and pestle. You just want to split the beans, not crush it fine. Or simply put the cold cooked beans in a ziploc and crush by rolling a long-necked bottle over it.
Wash the sweet rice twice and place in a big cooking pot. Also wash the crushed mung beans in a basin and fill with water so the husk will separate from the beans. Toss away the husk. Add the 6 cups of coconut milk in the pot with the rice and beans.
Let it boil and then let it simmer in low fire so that the rice won’t stick in the pot and burn. Stir often. The rice will expand and probably absorb almost all the liquid. If the rice and beans are still hard, add additional water until they are cooked. The rice should be cooked like a porridge or the consistency of rice pudding – soft and creamy.
Add the sugar, dash of salt and vanilla. Before serving add the last two cups of thick coconut cream to make it creamier. I like to eat this warm but it is just as good cold.
This dish demands attention because you don’t want the porridge to dry up and burn at the bottom. But it is all worth it because the browned mung beans imparts a smoky fragrance and nutty flavor.
I guess this is the Filipino equivalent of rice pudding. I could eat this anytime of day – breakfast, brunch or later afternoon snack.
Some images from Saturday. It snowed hard on our way there.