A yellow orange texture type of steamed rice cake, with a jelly-like chewy consistency topped with fresh grated meat from mature coconut. The most common shape was round, steamed in a colored plastic mold or cupcake baking pan. The Kutchinta that we are making for this post, is something like the traditional snack that you could buy from the lady street vendor. It was in a bamboo circular flat basket or bilao line with banana leaves, cut in a diamond shape.
This Filipino snack was originally made from rice flour, lye water and annatto seeds for coloring. Our recipe for this version of kutchinta consists of all purpose flour, starch, sugar, lye water and annatto seed. Lye water is added to make our cake sticky or chewy. The yellow color is from the extract of the annatto seed soaked in hot water, and the powder is also available in a plastic pack for the substitute. The mold that we used is a pizza aluminium baking sheet that we got in a dollar store, there are tiny holes around the bottom and we line it with the banana leaves. We placed it over the bamboo circular flat basket and steamed until the cakes is done.
Remember an old lady with a large bamboo circular flat basket on her head, shouting in the streets of Kakanin. It reminds us the days, that the snack that we used to grow up was delivered in front of our house. The flat basket was filled with four different rice cakes, sapin sapin, biko, puto and kutchinta. While on the deep bamboo basket are ginataan bilo bilo, palabok, and pancit mike or canton in a plastic cellophane. But what if we are a thousand miles away from home, we need to do something to fill our craving.