How to Make Sweetened Suman Taro/Gabi

I did try the cassava suman procedure for making the taro version. The sugar and grated taro mixture was too fluid that it was flowing out of banana wrapper. I devised a procedure with a slight modification.

Here it goes…

1) Get taro corms. Avoid corms with grown shoots or cut apex. Corms with apex removed probably had grown shoots too. Those are not recommended for cooking purposes.

2) Wash to remove adhering soils and dirt. Peel off the skin and immediately soak in water to remove latex and prevent browning.

3) Grate on stainless steel grater. Weigh. Mix one part sugar for every two parts grated gabi. Adjust ratio according to taste preference.

4) modification comes here: Place the mixture in pan over a low heat. Stir continuously until a jam consistency is attained.

5) Get banana leaves, should be young, whole or with few teared parts. Softened it by heating gently over flame. Cut to desired sizes.

6) Wrap portions in banana leaves. Scoop out mixture. Place on banana leaf. Roll. Then fold all four sides to close.

7) Arrange neatly in casserole. Half fill with water. Place weight on top to prevent bulging of banana wraps. Boil for 30 minutes or until done.

Boiling suman directly in boiling water never did well. Taro gelatinization was slow that it allowed water to break through. Only the superficial layer was hardened. The inner part remained soft due to water absorption.

Corrections made:

Proceed to step “5 & 6” after step “3”. Arrange in a double boiler and steam for 30 minutes.


After step “3”, place the mixture in llanera and steam for 30 minutes or until a consistency similar to taro cake is achieved.  Proceed to step “5 and onward”. In step “7”, 15 minutes boiling is enough.


As suggested by dennis. Thanks to you friend!


Glad that you like the Taro Cake (suman na Gabi). I noticed that you only steamed it for only 30 minutes.And you did not put coconut cream (gata sa niyog). I would assume for the short steaming is your time constraint. hehehe. Antok na. This would make your taro cake more delicious and have a longer shelf life if a longer cooking/steaming has been done.

To eliminate the fluid in making the taro cake, you can do either the following:

1) after grating, place the grated taro in a clean cloth and squeeze most of the liquid (slimy fluid) or

2) sun dry it for several hours.(I would like to try total sundrying to attain the powder form – for purposes of storing). Maybe you can experiment on it too Marvin and post the end result.

In this way you eliminate most if not all the liquid or moisture content of the grated taro.

Best to use as sweetener is granulated sugar. But also good to use coco honey/syrup for diabetic individuals, though, you will not attain the consistency of dryness in wrapping.

Again, you can try it some other time at balitaan mo ako.



The Red Rice Suman Sa Gata

Not quite sure but it seems the red rice I previously bought is glutenous rice. How my auntie used this red rice suggests it is really is. I heard she used it to make tibok-tibok, a sweeteened rice similar to suman but takes the shape of a pancake. Few reading materials further suggest that it is.

I thought it would be better if I make some native delicacy out of it. I tried it for suman sa gata.

– 625 red rice, the amount left after the first trial
– two medium coconuts, it would be more than enough to achieved a rich coconut milk taste.
– salt to taste

I followed the procedure for making suman sa gata. Adjusted the coconut milk to water ratio from 5:4 to 7:5, the ratios were based on volume.  My wife told me this red rice needs more water than normal. Adjustment should be done to cook properly.

Thirty minutes have passed, the rice became plumbed and all the liquid was almost absorbed. However, the cooking process was far from over. It was not even half-cooked. I took few grains for a test, it was still crunchy hard. I also noticed the slightly sour taste.

I added more water to continue cooking. I added more and more until the liquid to rice ratio became 15:5 or 3:1. I knew the red rice requires more water to cook but I never expected this much.

I took me almost three hours to achieve the very tacky consistency. It could be shorter if I was aware of the exact ratio.

I wrapped them in banana leaves. Tied in packs of two and boiled for 30 minutes.

steamed red rice suman

The time and effort I spent cooking paid well. The suman I made taste superb. It is far superior than any other suman I have eaten.

unwrapped red rice suman

Tabliya Chocolate Sauce for Suman

Some of my friends keep on insisting that tabliya is a good sauce for suman. I wanted to try but suman is only available once a year. That is during All Saints Day. Some areas are making suman all year round because it is an integral part of their culture. Other do it as source of income. Unfortunately, we only make suman during the All Saints season. Several seasons have passed, several seasons of forgetfulness.

The idea is – measure equal amounts of sugar and tabliya. Cook it with small portion of water until sticky. The consistency should be close to mayonnaise. Adjust tabliya amount for  chocolate flavor. Adjust sugar for sweetness. Adjust water amount for fluidity.

I was lucky this year. I remembered the idea of tabliya chocolate sauce for suman. I told my better half about it. She refused several times. She was insisting that chocolate and rice cake are not good combination.

I won the argument. She made about half cup sauce. She tried it and was very amazed. She said several times that it was very delectable.

suman and tabliya chocolate sauce

How To Make Cassava Suman

Mom gave us these three large cassava suman. There was only one remaining – she grabbed the other two and brought it to office. Its former state was fully wrapped in banana leaves. I opened it and sprinkled some sugar.

cassava sumanHmmm… it was really yummy. Cassava suman is somewhat similar to cassava cake with or without sugar added and cooked only by soaking in boiling water. Cassava cake on the other hand have flavors like milk, sugar and cheese. The latter is cooked in oven or over steam.

Make a cassava suman by following the procedures below:

1) Get cassava. Wash and remove the peels. See How to make tapioca chips for peeling illustration.

2) Grate cassava on stainless steel grater.

4) Get banana leaves. Heat it gently over a low flame to make it soft – essential for easy wrapping and prevent unnecessary leaf tearing.

5) Cut the leaves to desired sizes, should be wide enough to wrap desired sizes of suman.

6) Wrap grated cassava in banana leaves. Tie is not needed – just fold both ends and arrange neatly in a casserole.

7) Then half fill the casserole with water and boil until done. It can be checked by piercing with fork.

Cassava is locally known as balinghoy or kamoteng kahoy – the popular tapioca.