Guinataan with Jackfruit

Photo by riacale/flickr

A popular sweet throughout Asia, this is known as guinataan in the Philippines and bubor cha-cha in Malaysia. The ingredients change according to seasonal availability and the starch component varies from glutinous rice to tapioca to sago. Fresh coconut milk is best, but a good quality, smooth, canned coconut milk may be used.

Serves 8.


8 ripe jackfruit pericarps
or 1 can jackfruit in syrup
3 tablespoons tapioca or sago
250 g/8 oz/1 cup sugar
500 ml/1 pint/2 cups water
500 g/1 lb diced sweet potato, taro or purple yam
3 ripe cooking bananas, sliced
400 ml/14 fl oz can coconut milk
250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup coconut cream


Cut the jakfruit into dice, and remove the seeds for another use. Or drain the canned jakfruit and reserve the syrup. Cook tapioca or sago in plenty of water until the grains are clear. Rinse in cold water. Drain.

Make a syrup of the sugar and water, add the coconut milk and bring to the boil, then add the diced sweet potato, taro or yam (or a mixture) and boil until tender but still holding their shape. Add bananas and tapioca, and the jakfruit. Remove from heat and stir in coconut cream, or serve in bowls and pass coconut cream for adding to individual servings. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)