Of the three main islands of the Philippines, there is one that they have named the Land of Promise. It is not self-proclaimed but it just describes how rich this southernmost part of the country is. This main island is called Mindanao.
Many speculations have been made on a land as strong and as stable as Mindanao. With the variation of cultures and settlers Mindanao is one big mixing pot. Muslims have established their ethnicity in the area but that did not make them less of a Filipino. In fact, they inculcated their ways and adapted to the norms of the non-Muslim settlers. Therefore, here is a fusion of different cultures of Filipino food recipes in one delicacy – Dodol.
Dodol is a sweet toffee-like confection made of coconut milk, jaggery, and rice flour, and is sticky, thick and sweet. Dodol is a known traditional delicacy for Filipinos. There are actually different versions but the one that is very popular in Mindanao is the one made with durian. Durian is a very popular fruit in the southern part of the Philippines.
Durian is the symbol that goes side by side with the Philippine Eagle, which gives off the vibe of immense royalty. Why royalty? This is simply because the Philippine Eagles are hailed as the King of the birds and Durian is hailed as the King of all fruits. Put those two kings side by side and you get one magnanimous symbolism.
The king of all fruits is so popular in Mindanao that it is added as an ingredient to any given delicacy. Therefore, it comes to no surprise that for the Dodol of Mindanao, durian is a key ingredient.
This delicacy is definitely one of those that need consistent stirring –the stickier the delicacy the better. It would take several hours of cooking and stirring to get the right consistency. Ironically enough, upon reaching the final product, the mixture won’t be too sticky – only thick and rich.
The following ingredients are used to create Dodol fit for 2 to 4 persons.
- 500 grams of glutinous rice flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 850 grams brown sugar
- 850 grams caster sugar
- 9 cups coconut milk
- 5 screw pine leaves
- 1 bowl durian flesh
- Combine glutinous rice and coconut milk in a pan over medium flame. Stir occasionally. Make sure the mixtures do not burn.
- Add a pinch of salt to saturate.
- Stir and observe the mixtures until thickens.
- When the mixture thickens, add the brown and caster sugar, together with the durian flesh.
- Change flame to low and stir the mixture continuously. Do such until the mixture thickens and turns glossy.
- Leave it to cool down and cut it according to preference.
As a finished product, they tend to serve Dodol wrapped in a colorful water cellophane or wrapped in pandan leaves. There are also times when they serve it openly but they make sure that its intricately shaped. Presentation is one of the main factors for Filipino food recipes – like a scenic preview of the real goodness of the country.